Tuesday 25 April 2017

April 2017

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Guess the date: global economies are having a tough time, Jersey is heavily reliant on one industry, and those in charge pause for a moment, and then think,”...perhaps we’d better diversify, just in case our main bread-winner goes a little, what’s the expression, mouldy?” You get the the idea.

If you said the date was 2008/9 then you would be completely wrong.

Try 1971.

At that time, Tourism was the only real game in town, and Jersey needed to diversify, which given the subsequent decline in that sector was a very smart move. The plan
was to build financial services up to give tourism some support, and so provide Jersey’s economy with a back-up.

The problem? In some ways, the plan was too good...and what’s actually happened is that tourism and financial services have just swapped places. The Island is far, far more wealthy than it was, but essentially, it is still reliant on one industry.

And what do we truly think of that industry? Do we love it, in the way we like to think we loved tourism? Of course, no one every complained about crowded beaches, or hire cars driving at 15mph and going the wrong way up roads.

Ok, there are three features this month which help with those questions. The first is ‘Think Tank’ on page 46, written by the Jersey Policy Forum. So there you have the facts to underpin whichever conclusions you may come to.

To help you build on those facts, let me introduce you to this month’s cover feature - Marcus Calvani. A serial entrepreneur in the hospitality industry, he is taking on tough projects in a tough business, and making us love them again. You’ll find his story on page 7.

And finally, the Geoff and John show, or rather Unplugged on page 19. There are those who will argue the Island will never ‘love’ financial services, but it could at least appreciate it a little more... or is the criticism of the Island’s major earner localised to a vociferous minority, and actually, the majority are very appreciative of the industry which pays our bills?

Connect’s mission this month is to help you decide. Enjoy.