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June 2024 Trade Update

Latest trade update from the team

07 June 2024

From campaign updates to event support and familiarisation trips, we have plenty of exciting updates to share with you this month.  

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the VisitGuernsey team.

Occupancy - and boosting your summer offers

Occupancy for April ended at 62%, an increase of 6% compared to April 2023, and a positive result given concerns expressed earlier in the year by some accommodation providers that an early Easter could negatively affect numbers. 

We responded with an additional campaign and had a great response from you, giving us the opportunity to specifically target our audiences with April offers. We hope this helped the upturn in short-term bookings, which we know continues to be a trend.  

Similarly, we have received feedback from some of the industry that July and August bookings could do with a boost. As a result, in addition to our always-on digital campaign, we are putting together a reactive campaign to encourage high summer bookings. 

Your offers will be put on VisitGuernsey.com within the special offers section and will be boosted on social media to our followers (combined social following of 65,563). They will also be included in a consumer mailer (60,416 recipients).  

If you would like to be included in these additional summer campaigns, please send your July and August offers to Emily.Queripel@gov.gg by the end of Thursday 13 June. Offers should include a price point and an expiry date. 

Opportunities with new Group Travel Operators

We are pleased to announce that following our visit to the British Travel & Tourism show, we have seen continued interest from new tour operators who are keen to programme Guernsey in 2025 and 2026. They are looking for accommodation with half or full board options for 4 nights and more, that can accommodate 20+ passengers. 

These include:   

  • Barton Hill Travel, a special interest tour operator based in the UK. 

  • Veenus Group, curators of luxury journeys in the UK and Europe, coupled with exclusive experiences based at 4* hotels, to offer unforgettable 'wow' moments to their clients. 

  • BowlingTours.co.uk, a trusted partner of UK Bowling Clubs, providing seamless and enjoyable experiences for their customers.  

  • WebBeds, an online accommodation marketplace for the travel trade who connect hotels to buyers all over the world.

WebBeds have organised a webinar on 11 June to explain how they can directly support hotels. If you are interested in working with these providers or joining the webinar, please email chloe.steadman@gov.gg in the first instance. 

First campaign launched with Travel Gossip

In addition, we recently launched our first campaign with Travel Gossip, an online community made up of 28,000 verified travel trade members, which saw a high level of engagement amongst the travel trade. 

Travel Gossip’s members were served a social media campaign highlighting the Islands, delivering just under 45,000 ad impressions across Facebook and Instagram. The results showed that the island-hopping video was most popular, followed by hiking.

Now we have raised Guernsey’s profile as a destination, we will be continuing to work with the team to develop this relationship, and put Guernsey on the map for as much of the travel trade as we can.  

Cruise familiarisation trip 2024

We were delighted to welcome representatives from Saga HolidaysAmbassador Cruise Line and Hebridean Island Cruises Ltd on a familiarisation trip from 15-17 May.  
   
The group were able to explore our islands with a full itinerary, which focused on shore excursion products; including a visit to our sister island of Herm, a rib voyage, cider tour and a chance to discover Guernsey’s historical attractions. You can read more about the trip here: Cruise rep familiarisation trip | Guernsey Trade Media  

 

Cruise development

Work continues in the background on cruise development. A Cruise Steering Group has been established to address some of concerns you have expressed around operational issues and the loss of cruise business (in particular the larger liners).

This group includes political representation, along with officers from Economic Development, Ports, and the States' Trading and Supervisory Board. 

The group continues to work on challenges, including, but not exclusive to: tender destination (poor weather/lack of tender facilities on cruise ships), availability of shoreside power, Brexit and the selling of duty free, and fuel-efficiency savings.

We will share updates as soon as they are available.

Awareness raising in Jersey

Jersey remains an area of growth for us, and we continue to promote Guernsey, and our events, to a targeted Jersey audience by working collaboratively with event organisers and offering competitions and exclusive offers.  

In May, we collaborated with Guernsey Together festival organisers, along with the Peninsula Hotel and Condor Ferries to offer a short break and hospitality tickets to the weekend festival. As well as providing a great opportunity to put the quality of our events in front of our neighbours, it also presented the opportunity to grow our Jersey database, who we can now re-target with specific, relevant offers and events.  

More broadly speaking, at the end of May we launched a new campaign in Jersey, which will run to the end of July across Facebook, Instagram and Google Display. The campaign is aimed at encouraging a Jersey audience to book a holiday to Guernsey by reminding them we are a great place to discover this summer – and just a short hop across the water. The adverts have gone live with a variety of headlines, and we’ll use live results data to monitor which ads perform best, allowing us to push those ads further.  

 

Our history remains a key theme

Our unique heritage remains a key theme and, alongside organising Liberation Day festivities, in early May we welcomed a number of journalists who specialise in history and heritage. This allowed them to experience Liberation Day first-hand, and will help encourage visitors for the 80th anniversary next year. Work is already well underway to ensure a spectacular programme of events. 

In early May we brought Alice Loxton (History Alice) to the island, who has shared three commissioned films with her 1.7 million Instagram followers, along with additional content that she filmed and posted while on Island. As part of a packed itinerary, the history broadcaster and author took part in the Liberation Day cavalcade aboard the vintage ‘Twinkle’ bus, offering her audience a unique insight into Island celebrations.  

We also welcomed a heritage-specific group press trip, including journalists from National World (which syndicates across 70 regional titles) and Reach PLC, which comprises the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and the Daily Star, as well as War History Online, who have already published an article for their 5,448,660 unique monthly visitors. 

How you can get involved 

We have a number of new heritage products developed following the Product Development Workshop, including ‘History and Heritage offers’ at The OGH and The Duke of Richmond Hotel. If you have an offer or product you would like to promote ahead of the 80th anniversary, please get in touch.  

Help your visitors discover more about Guernsey’s history  

For guests looking to enjoy Guernsey’s unique heritage, don’t forget to recommend Guernsey Museums’ Discovery Pass.  

The Pass – only £22 per adult – allows unlimited visits to Castle Cornet, Guernsey Museum at Candie, Fort Grey and German Naval Signals Headquarters, plus 10% discount in the museum gift shops and Guernsey Information Centre.  

Discovery Passes can be purchased at the following locations:  

  • Guernsey Museum at Candie 

  • Castle Cornet 

  • Beau Sejour Leisure Centre 

  • Guernsey Information Centre  

  • The German Naval Signals HQ  

  • Guernsey Pearl 

The VisitGuernsey App (free to download here) also includes six self-guided heritage routes, with options for walking, cycling and driving. 

 
 

Visiting Journalist Programme

As usual, May and June are particularly busy months for the visiting journalist programme, with our strategy focused on securing coverage ahead of the summer season. In May we hosted journalists and influencers from titles including Discover Britain, The Scotsman, The Scottish Sun and Family Traveller, and in June we will welcome titles including The Guardian and The i.

Journalist Isabella Boneham, writing for National World, is currently on-island to write a piece about the many wellness experiences we have to offer, which was a key focus last year alongside Renoir, and continues to be a key focus this year alongside history and heritage.

As mentioned above, in our history update, National World is one of the UK’s largest syndication companies, with flagship titles including The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post. The group's main webpage has just shy of 4 million unique monthly viewers.  

As part of our continued effort to extend the season into the shoulder months, we’ll also welcome more journalists later this year, including publications such as The Telegraph and Country & Town House, plus a group trip from France in September to further promote the Paris route. You can view a collection of the coverage secured so far this year here.  

French sailing season gets underway

Throughout the summer we see several large sailing events and competitions head over to Guernsey from France. These events are supported by the States of Guernsey in various ways and make up an important part of our visitor economy.

The first of these was in May when more than 300 French yachtsmen and women arrived in the Island for the traditional Morlaix yacht race.  

Le Telegramme Tresco Trophy is now in its 41st year and is recognised as the start of the season for Brittany-based sailors. Setting off from Morlaix on the evening of Wednesday 8 May, teams sailed through the night with the first coming in at 9am, and the last at 9pm, on Liberation Day.  

Each competitor gets a taster of the Islands, in the hope that we will see them visit us again under their our steam: something organiser, Philippe Allot, said many of the crews do. 

This year we worked with The Christies Group to offer a 10% discount to all competitors, encouraging on-island spend. This is an initiative we hope to grow.

Now we turn our attention to Tour de Ports de la Manche on 9 July, when almost 600 competitors sail into Guernsey, offering another opportunity to promote the Islands as a destination for independent travellers.

Morlaix Vin D’Honneur

 

Other ways to increase product awareness

Partnership packages 

VisitGuernsey offer partnership advertising rates, where you can benefit from further marketing activities direct to VisitGuernsey’s audience. Find out more about these here: Partnership Packages & Opportunities | Guernsey Trade Media

Social media 

In your own promotional channels, we would recommend regularly posting on social media and/or if you have a GDPR-compliant database of past visitors, you could target them specifically with loyalty offers. 

Working with tour operators and other groups 

Tour operators, wholesalers, group organisers, travel agents and online retailers play a key role inspiring visitors to choose the islands of Guernsey for their next holiday.

We work closely with our trade partners and greatly value their commitment and passion for the islands. Bringing over 80,000 bed nights to the islands last year, these trade partners are an important part of our industry and hugely influential. 

Customers turn to these travel partners as a trusted resource for guidance, destination information and a safe place to book. With their own marketing and PR channels, they enable us to spread the Islands of Guernsey message further, with a consistent approach to brand and imagery. They can introduce your product to new markets, distribution channels and encourage longer stays.

If you do not currently work with the travel trade but would be interested in doing so (or want to find out more), please get in touch with Chloe on chloe.steadman@gov.gg.  

 

As always, we are on hand to help and support in any way we can, so if there is anything that we can help with, please do get in touch.

With thanks, the VisitGuernsey team.

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