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Increase in leisure visitors is positive sign, says the TMB

The Tourism Management Board believes latest data shows the industry is continuing its positive recovery.

07 May 2024

Many indicators from the latest Guernsey Quarterly Travel and Visitor Accommodation Bulletin show an increase between Quarter 1 2024 and the same period last year.

Travel and visitor numbers from quarter one in 2024 show a significant increase in leisure visitors, who are staying for longer, compared to the same period in 2023.

Headlines from the latest bulletin include:

  • The total number of (resident and visiting) passengers (including cruise and yacht passengers) departing Guernsey was 78,582 during Q1 2024. This compares with 72,510 during Q1 2023, an increase of 8%.
  • 83% of (resident and visiting) passengers departed by aeroplane (5% higher than Q1 2023) 16% by ferry (33% higher than Q1 2023) and less than 1% by cruise ships or yachts.
  • The total number of departing visitors (including any cruise and yacht passengers), for Q1 2024 was 25,456; 3% lower than Q1 2023 - visitors travelling for leisure purposes totalled 6,419 people, 31% higher than Q1 2023, those travelling for business purposes totalled 6,939 people, 22% lower than Q1 2023, contributing to an overall decrease of 3%.
  • Of the visitors: 38% were seeing friends or family, 25% were visiting for leisure, 27% were visiting for business purposes, 8% were visiting for another reason.
  • 71% of visitors during Q1 2024 were from the UK, 1% from France, 16% from Jersey and 11% from elsewhere (including Alderney, Sark and Herm). The country of residence was unknown for less than 1%, who were visiting on a yacht or cruise ship.
  • The average length of stay for those who stayed at least one night but 30 or less nights was was 4.5 nights, an increase on Q1 2023 which was 4.0 nights.
  • Visitors spent the equivalent of 93,649 bed nights in Guernsey which compares with 86,022 bed nights in Q1 2023 (a 9% increase).

Hannah Beacom, Chair of the Tourism Management Board, said:

‘There is much to be optimistic in the Quarter 1 Bulletin, when comparing to the same period last year. What we are seeing is significantly more visitors travelling for leisure, for both day trips and longer breaks, in what have traditionally been our quieter months for tourism, and they are staying for longer. A 31% increase in those visitors coming to Guernsey for leisure, combined with more day trippers travelling for leisure – up 198% on 2023 – is significant. The drop in business travel is disappointing, but not unexpected, which has resulted in an overall downturn in visitors, year on year.

There was a marked shift in how visitors chose to travel, with an increase of 42% opting to travel here by ferry, compared to the same period last year. Visitors who choose to travel by ferry tend to stay longer, on average ferry visitors stayed 5.1 nights in Q1 2024, resulting in an overall increase in bed nights, and a boost to the overall economy, which is encouraging. We also see less visitor accommodation being taken up with long stay. Overall, an encouraging start to the year for Guernsey.’

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