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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Jersey pricing itself out of the tourism market

Tourism in Jersey has been on a steady decline for ten years but back in the island’s hay day, the tourism industry was booming.

Condor Ferries


 Is Jersey pricing itself out of the tourism market? The short answer is of course, Yes.
However, the reasons for this situation are complex and varied.The cost of getting to the Island, by sea or air, is expensive and then the prices of the traditional tourist attractions (those that are still left that is), make a day out for Mum Dad and two children rather prohibitive. The article mentions the fact that air travel to Jersey is cheaper than Malaga or Ibiza for a family of Mum Dad and two children. That may well be the case but when the complete cost, including car hire and accommodation is considered, the all up cost of a holiday in jersey is considerably more expensive. The same family, coming by sea with their own car, would pay £595 just for the travel cost. On arrival, the family would quickly become aware that prices are higher than they  expected. The days of duty and tax free goods, spirits and cigarettes are a distant memory, with a bottle of wine being around the same price on the Island as it is in our local Morrisons supermarket, and I remember not too long ago, paying more for a litre of petrol on La Route des Quennevais than at Tesco in Dorchester. The imposition of GST (Goods and Services Tax) has not helped the problem. The costs of tourist accommodation, is another factor contributing to a decline in visitor numbers, with restaurant and food prices generally noticeably higher each time we visit.

St Brelade
For an island of just 45 square miles to have so little in the way of "tourist attractions" available for the family visitors (particularly when it rains!) and to have what is available priced at almost prohibitive levels, (Jersey War Tunnels £36.80 and £47.00 for Durrell) almost suggests that encouraging tourism is not considered as a priority, either in the States or in the High Street.
Condor 2012
What's on in Jersey?

 e have friends in Jersey, and so will continue to visit the island regardless of the decline of the  "attractions",  but I fear that unless there is a significant shift in the attitudes of those responsible for such matters, the number of visitors to Jersey will remain on the downward spiral.