Visit Jersey have been handed a annual grant of up to £4.9million to help reach the goal of million visitors to the island before 2030 - with a quarter of a million due to be spent tempting visitors to enjoy a retreat after Brexit hits.
While many businesses are concerned about the trade repercussions of the UK officially parting ways with the EU at the end of next month, Visit Jersey are looking to seize on this opportunity through a £250,000 'Brexit Reassurance Campaign'.
"The outcome of Brexit negotiations remains unclear and this initiative is to allow for tactical intervention with, probably, airline partner(s) targeting the UK spelling out the benefits of post-Brexit holidaying in Jersey. This will be supported by good value offers and in market Autumn 2019 through to Spring 2020," the taxpayer-funded promotional body's 2019 Business Plan read.
The plan – which Senator Lyndon Farnham, the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, endorsed before signing off the grant – listed the different areas for which funding was required. The new Trade strategy, “...that aims to push more Jersey inventory through travel distribution channels,” will require £686,000, while £310,00 will be allocated to research activities and continuous surveys.
Nearly £2million has been earmarked for marketing and communications, which Visit Jersey says must be, “...excellent to engage with potential visitors in a cluttered and noisy marketplace."
Pictured: Senator Lyndon Farnham, the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, approved the grant of up to £4.9 million for Visit Jersey.
£600,000 will be spent on “special projects,” which includes £200,000 to develop year-round routes and experiences and explore occupation-related installations around ‘Celebrate Liberation 75’ and £150,000 will be used to develop new routes with the help of Ports of Jersey.
The rest of the budget will be split between partnerships to grow the number of French visitors, marketing campaigns in German-speaking countries, the Product team, Events Jersey - Visit Jersey has set aside £100,000 for the Super League Triathlon - and the Tourist Information Centre, located at Liberation Station and managed by Liberty Bus.
Details of this year's Business Plan were released days ahead of Visit Jersey's response to comments by the Comptroller and Auditor General Karen McConnell, who published a report calling for greater oversight of its operation and performance in early December.
“Visit Jersey is an organisation keen to learn and is always looking to improve, and we welcome the Report in its entirety,” CEO Keith Beecham said as what was described as an "initial response” after a “limited time to consider” the report.
Pictured: In her report, the Comptroller and Auditor General Karen McConnell called for greater oversight of Visit Jersey.
Visit Jersey has pledged to implement a number of recommendations made by the C&AG. A suggestion that the Board's effectiveness be reviewed with external input was however rejected, as Visit Jersey says they are confident in its composition, and that it wouldn’t be the best use of taxpayers’ funds.
Senator Sarah Ferguson, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), who published Ms McConnell’s report, said the PAC was “content” with Mr Beecham’s response. She however added the Committee was “disappointed” by the Executive Response from the Government's Director General of Growth, Housing and Environment, John Rogers.
“The Committee considered that the answers given to some of the recommendations were inadequate,” Senator Ferguson wrote, describing some of the undertakings as “underwhelming” or “lacking detail and substance."
“The Directorate is broadly supportive of the C&AG’s recommendations to Government noted in the Report and will, where practicable and appropriate, review and amend its procedures over the course of 2019,” Mr Rogers wrote. “However, the States and its various Departments that fund [Arms Length Organisations] must balance their efforts to perfect their governance procedures with ensuring that such procedures remain efficient and cost-effective.”
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