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March 2024 Trade Update

Latest trade update from the team

08 March 2024

From new business development to PR activity and new campaigns, we have a number of updates to share with you this month. 

If you would like more information about anything in this newsletter, or if there is anything we can do to help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the VisitGuernsey team and we would be delighted to assist you.

New business development

Over the last few weeks, VisitGuernsey have been speaking to several high-profile operators – including Co-op Holidays, Pet Pyjamas, Beaches of Normandy, and Sunway – to create new sales platforms and additional revenue opportunities for our industry.

One of these operators is Co-op Holidays, the in-house tour operator to the Mid-counties Co-operative. Co-op Holidays have more than 300,000 members (to whom they send regular travel deals) and 72 dedicated travel shops. We made introductions to a number of Guernsey accommodation providers and, as a result, the Co-op are already in the process of setting up these new partnerships which – subject to agreement – will mean great exposure for our local industry to Co-op’s audience.

VisitGuernsey are also working with Pets Pyjamas: dog-friendly travel experts with UK-based clientele who like to travel out of the peak season. Together we will be raising awareness of our pet-friendly Islands and supporting them to expand Pets Pyjamas’ portfolio across the Bailiwick.

We have already approached pet-friendly accommodation providers across the Bailiwick to enquire who would be interested in working with Pets Pyjamas; and once there are Bailiwick properties listed on the website, we can work with them on destination marketing.

Following a Channel Islands pitch to Normandy-based operator ‘Beaches of Normandy’, they are now actively looking into the feasibility of adding our islands into their current itineraries. Their main clientele is from America, so this is an excellent way to promote our WWII heritage to those who may not be as aware of our history. It is also in line with this year's heritage campaign push and our partnerships with Festung.

Finally, discussions are also in progress with Sunway, the largest and only Irish-owned operator to create an Islands of Guernsey Package from Dublin. Over the course of last year, 8,711 used the Dublin route, so watch this space!

Meet us at the British Tourism and Travel Show

Later this month, VisitGuernsey will be attending the British Tourism and Travel Show in Birmingham, where over 200 destinations, hotels and attractions will be represented, alongside a series of keynote speakers.

The exhibition is the leading group travel trade show and represents the very best of Britain and Ireland. As well as building important relationships across the industry, the exhibition will also give us the opportunity to hear about the latest developments in tourism.

VisitGuernsey will be joining Destination Specialists. Find us on stand B31/1 or make an appointment by emailing chloe.steadman@gov.gg.

German connectivity

This week sees the world of tourism gather at the largest travel trade show – ITB Berlin, (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) where VisitGuernsey is being represented by German PR agent, Scott Crouch, Director of BPRC. Scott, who will be at the ITB for the full duration, is busy generating media and trade appointments, working to identify possible new routes and trade partners.

Following the ITB, and throughout the rest of the year, Scott will continue to reach out to Tour Operators and airlines to assist in establishing new charter and/or seasonal routes, working in partnership with on-island trade and Economic Development. We know this work is vital in supporting the re-introduction of regular German routes, and with them visitors, which is why it's a primary focus within this market. We’re confident that we can establish new routes, which will provide a strong call to action within coverage secured as part of the Visiting Journalist Programme.

Our secondary focus is a media outreach strategy in which we'll be liaising with relevant print and online publications, as well as issuing press releases and/or destination related news, which will include our core campaign messaging and news on new product development.

 

Campaign update

Our Sky Adsmart TV campaign is live, targeting a more affluent audience around our departure points, chosen based on their likelihood to travel (for reference, our 2023 TV campaign reached 172,629 households with 1,433,589 total impressions).

As per 2023, we continue to take an agile approach to media, investing in digital media, followed by print and out of home.

Digital campaigns (search, display ads, social channels and YouTube) run all year round. In terms of our digital audience, the Google segments that drive the most leads to our website are Beachbound Travellers, Family Holidayers and Luxury Travellers, weighted towards 35-54-year-old females. The majority are based in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton and Bristol. Google search data tell us that they are searching for Short breaks UK, Weekend breaks UK and UK Holidays 2023.

From 22 April, our digital out of home campaign (outdoor advertising, most commonly seen on static and digital billboards in central locations and transport hubs) goes live. It is estimated that it will be seen 25 million times across Birmingham, Bristol and London.

Between 1 and 14 July, we will also run a print out of home campaign on the London Underground, including 18 central sites. This will promote our London air routes and stimulate last-minute summer holidaymakers – particularly for August, where our occupancy levels have needed support over the last couple of years.

Our scheduled print campaign runs between January and October and includes insertions in traditional print media such as The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, lifestyle magazines such as OK! and GQ, and niche print (e.g. Outdoor Swimmer and BBC Good Food).

In addition, we post daily across our social media channels, stay in touch with our database via bi-monthly consumer emails and include monthly blogs on the VisitGuernsey website.

 

Above is an example from the summer 2023 campaign on the London Underground.  

Jersey campaign update

Travel between Jersey and Guernsey has suffered over recent years. To help stimulate inter-island travel, we have now launched a digital campaign targeting Jersey residents, running from April.

In 2023, our Jersey campaign, co-funded with Condor Ferries, ran from May to June, resulting in 1,838,294 impressions (the number of times the ad was shown to those in Jersey). Based on our performance data from that joint campaign, we performed well across all age groups, with our biggest appeal being amongst 35-44 year-old males.

An additional campaign targeting Jersey residents will also go live shortly, specifically promoting music and arts events in Guernsey, and associated accommodation packages.

 

Collaborative campaign update

VisitGuernsey works collaboratively with trade and carrier partners in the UK and Europe on joint marketing campaigns to increase marketing capacity, with a bookable call to action. These marketing campaigns enable us to spread the Islands of Guernsey message further, with a consistent approach to brand and imagery.

We currently have campaigns confirmed with Aurigny Air Services, Condor Ferries UK, Condor Ferries France, Premier Holidays, Sunair and Rolf Meier Reisen, with others to be confirmed shortly.

Find out more about our joint campaigns here.

 
 

Responding to April concerns

Data for January shows that occupancy for the month was at 37%, which compares to 28% for January 2023, and 19% for January 2019. 18% of accommodation providers' sites were closed in January 2024.

Predictions for February are also ahead, at 42% (actuals from February 2023 was 35%), with March predictions 3% ahead of actuals for 2023.

We are hearing that the early Easter this year is negatively impacting bookings for April. In response, we have included an additional digital campaign, alongside our always-on digital campaigns, to specifically promote April, with the call to action going through to April offers.

This includes a targeted digital ad to our UK audience with an estimated daily reach of 10,000, a dedicated email going out to our 60,416 email subscribers, and organic posting to our social channels with 65,663 combined followers.

Thank you to those of you who responded to an email we sent out inviting these offers. If you have anything you would like to include, it’s not too late. Please email them to emily.queripel@gov.gg

 

Travel Gossip

VisitGuernsey have an upcoming campaign with Travel Gossip, the largest and most active online community for travel agents.

With over 26,000 travel trade members, Travel Gossip is the leading location for the travel trade industry to seek advice and keep up to date with what’s happening.

The campaign will raise awareness of the Islands, provide destination inspiration and showcase our connectivity, with the aim of adding the Islands of Guernsey to holiday wish lists.

 

French PR activity

It’s been a busy first couple of months for our new French PR partner, Paris-based firm TQC.

Two group journalist trips (scheduled for April and September) have already been booked, which will see five journalists from top French publications utilise the new direct Paris flights. Included in this trip are journalists from Grazia (web; 3,920,819 monthly visits), The Good Life (web; 89,834 monthly visits) and Paris vous aime (print; 262,500 copies).

These groups have been cherry-picked from a long list of interested journalists, allowing us to marry the best publications with our target audience. They’ll enjoy a tailor-made itinerary comprising culture, history, and heritage, as well as a spot of island-hopping, to showcase the very best of our islands.

Several individual journalist and influencer trips are also planned in. The first is with GEO WEB, a huge French media outlet that pulls in 14 million website visitors each month. We’re looking forward to sharing this fantastic coverage over the coming months.

Alongside our visiting journalist programme, we also generate coverage through press releases distributed to mainstream media. The most recent French press release 'Guernsey more accessible than ever from France', which promotes the new Paris route, has already generated some great coverage, including a piece in the Figaro which has 130 million monthly website visits.

To view the releases distributed by both our UK and French PR partners so far this year, click here.

 

Product development workshop

Last month we held a really successful and positive product development workshop to share our focus for 2024/25 and see how we can collectively work to develop and improve the visitor product and experience. Thank everyone who attended.

The event attracted 50 representatives, including accommodation providers, event and activity organisers, and passenger carriers. Read more about the workshop here.

To promote these new products and offer visitors more bookable experiences while on-Island, please send through your finalised packages and promotions, so we can add them to the consumer website and maximise PR opportunities.

 

Bringing heritage to a new audience

A new video showcasing the German Occupation Museum on our VisitGuernsey Instagram received really high engagement. Viewers left comments and shared memories about visiting, including how much they wanted to return.   

The video provided an effective way to engage with a younger audience, and promote our heritage theme. We'll be pressing ahead with more throughout the year.

 
 

 

Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements

If you are planning to offer any add-on services to your core business, you should be aware of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations (PTRs).

In particular, the regulations impose a requirement on an organiser of a package, or a facilitator of a linked travel arrangement, which is not established in the EEA, to hold insolvency protection of a type described in the regulations; namely bonding, insurance, a trust account or a combination of insurance and a trust account.

Failure to hold such insolvency protection is an offence under the PTRs and could lead to enforcement action by UK Trading Standards Services. We strongly recommend familiarising yourself with the regulations.

Free-to-use imagery and reels

The Trade & Media site provides a host of free-to-use resources to support your social feeds or adverts. Access imagery here and reels here

 

Boarding permits renewal

Invitations to renew boarding permits will be emailed out over the next seven days.

If you haven't received an email by 14 March (please check your junk folder just in case) please let us know at qualitydevelopment@gov.gg

You will need to access the Self-Service Portal to renew. Please check your password and request a reset if you have forgotten it.

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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