Guernsey visitors up 22% in Q1

Posted: 02/05/2019

Total staying visitors, the high-value segment of the tourism market that spend at least one night in Guernsey, increased by 9% in quarter 1 of 2019 versus the same period in 2018 (+2,199 visitors), with those visitors staying for leisure purposes increasing by 22% (+1,375 visitors).

According to figures released by the Office of the Committee for Economic Development, the total market of departing visitors (including cruise passengers and visiting yachtsmen) stood at 32,344 visitors during the quarter, up 9% on the same period in 2018 (+2,728 visitors). 

Total departing visitors excluding cruise passengers and visiting yachtsmen also increased by 9%.

A breakdown of the Q1 2019 results show that the growth in visitors during the quarter was driven by:
• 7% increase in those travelling by air (+1,826 visitors) and a 20% increase among visitors travelling by sea (+850 visitors). Those travelling on visiting yachts also increased by 18%, albeit from a small base (+51 visitors). Resident travel, by comparison, saw a 2% decline during the quarter
• 12% increase in visitors staying with friends/relatives (+993 visitors)
• 14% increase in those staying in commercial accommodation (+6,570 additional bed nights during the quarter)
• 13% growth in total day visitors (+687 visitors), with 59% increase in day visitors travelling for leisure purposes, 10% increase for those travelling for business purposes and 23% increase in day visitors travelling to see friends and relatives

Visitors from the UK saw the largest absolute increase compared with Q1 2018, with 2,268 additional UK visitors travelling to Guernsey between January and March 2019 (11% increase). This was followed by an increase of 1,060 visitors from Jersey (25% increase on Q1 2018). 

Conversely, visitors from France declined by 24% (-255 visitors) and from other countries by 11% (-371 visitors), likely due to the impact of and uncertainty surrounding Brexit during the quarter. 

Deputy Dawn Tindall, member of the Committee for Economic Development said: “The high-value staying visitor segment has suffered over 20 years of decline, but is showing signs of stabilisation.

"Indeed, this market showed a modest increase between 2015-2018, with staying leisure visitors increasing by over 4% following the publication and implementation of the States of Guernsey and Chamber of Commerce Tourism subgroup 2015-2025 Guernsey Tourism Strategy."

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