VisitGuernsey has reported strong results from their Q1 ‘Visitor Exit Survey’ with an overall 1.5% increase in staying visitors from the UK, compared to the same period in 2016.
This represents a total 27,050 staying visitors in the first quarter of 2017, with an average length of stay of 4.09 nights, representing an increase of 1.3%.
The 1.5% 2017 Q1 increase was partly aided by a surge in those staying for business or conferences, which was up a significant 35.3%.
VisitGuernsey’s development of the cruise market/offering has also resulted in strong dividends. An uplift 82% in leisure day visits has been recorded in Q1 2017 attributed to passengers disembarking from cruise ships.
The tourist board says 82% could further translate to repeat staying visitors further down the line as 94% of cruise passengers polled sate that they would return to Guernsey for a longer stay.
There are 113 ships due to visit Guernsey this year, representing 171,257 possible disembarkations.
The most popular way of travelling to Guernsey was on a cruise or ferry, with a 41.8% increase in sea travel reported in Q1 2017.
Visitors were asked on departure how likely they would be, on a scale of 0 – 10, to recommend Guernsey to friends or family, with an average score of 8.79 from staying leisure visitors and 8.62 from leisure day visitors.
“It has been a really encouraging start to the year and it’s positive to see that visitor numbers have increased during this off-season period, especially as Q1 did not include Easter in 2017. VisitGuernsey has been working hard to promote the island in 2017 with a new television campaign, along with national press, cinema and digital advertising. Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, our rich programme of events from the Literacy Festival in May to the Guernsey Food Festival in September will further drive visitor growth to ensure increased passenger numbers throughout the year,” said Mike Hopkins, director of marketing & tourism, VisitGuernsey.