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Guernsey plans influencer charm offensive ahead of Paris route launch

Guernsey plans influencer charm offensive ahead of Paris route launch

Wednesday 06 March 2024

Guernsey plans influencer charm offensive ahead of Paris route launch

Wednesday 06 March 2024


Guernsey is seeking to bring over a band of French reporters and influencers to help woo a new market ahead of its direct Paris route launching next month.

65% of seats for April have been sold, and the island's States say this and the other summer bookings for the twice-weekly route are “looking encouraging”.

It had been announced that VisitGuernsey was working with a Paris-based public relations agency to cross-promote the destinations, and now it’s been revealed that 20 French reporters will visit the island over 2024.

These include newspaper and magazine writers, as well as social media influencers. 

A £324k boost

It's hoped this will spur more sales on the new route, which the States provided three-year financial backing to so a major European route could be established in line with strategic transport policies. 

Guernsey's Economic Development Department will release up to £324,000 this year, with a slowly reducing amount up to March 2027.

Screenshot_2024-03-01_at_16.13.48.png

Pictured: A breakdown of maximum spends of public money for the Paris route.  

The actual grant will depend on the commercial performance of the service.

A "solid" decision?

Deputy Neil Inder, President of Economic Development, said sales are expected to pick up soon, but hoped the public can see its decision to back the route “was solid".

“The financial support we have committed to diminishes with increased sales and based on the early bookings we’re already at a level where that support will be much lower than the maximum we earmarked for the first year."

Nico Bezuidenhout, CEO of Aurigny, added: “Consumer response to the launch of our Paris services has been positive, with advance bookings for our first month of operations, in April 2024, standing at 65% and steadily improving as we get closer to the start of operations.  

“As with the establishment of any new regular route, we expect that a full season of operations would be required to more accurately judge sustainable year-round demand, but we are pleased with the level of demand so far.” 

The bid to develop Jersey's direct links

It comes at a time when Guernsey is looking to reinvigorate its tourist offering due to challenges in the market – much like Jersey.

Developing Jersey's direct-to-Europe air routes has long been a priority of the island's Economic Development Minister.

A direct route to Rennes with Blue Islands was introduced in 2022 and reinstated the following year with Ministerial hopes that it may become a year-round offering, though whether it will return this year has not been confirmed. 

Meanwhile, in November, easyJet confirmed that it was pulling its direct service from Jersey to Amsterdam after the route failed to take off in the Dutch market.

Speaking to Connect Magazine in October, Robert Mackenzie, Managing Director of CI Travel Group, which operates direct routes to sunny destinations, and former  Chair of the Chamber of Commerce's tourism committee, lamented the loss of the Scandinavian market, which was a big part of the island's visitor 

He also said he would like to see the island exploit the opportunities the Paris Olympics and D-Day anniversary present.

LISTEN...

Where's Jersey's tourism industry heading in future? And what are we doing to capture the attention of potential visitors around the world? CEO Tricia Warwick spoke about this and more on the latest episode of The Interview from Bailiwick Podcasts... Listen below or wherever you get your podcasts...

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