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2018 bucks bed loss trend

2018 bucks bed loss trend

Wednesday 30 January 2019

2018 bucks bed loss trend

Wednesday 30 January 2019


New figures show that the total number of holiday beds available to visitors to Jersey is continuing to fall, despite recent additions such as the Premier Inn.

Visit Jersey identified preventing further loss of beds as a 'recommendation' in their 2015 Destination Plan to work on with the industry and other stakeholders, but the new version of that plan suggests a net loss of 764 beds since then, from 11,554 to 10,790 - a fall of 56% since the 1992 level (24,770).

In terms of 'establishments, the numbers have stayed relatively static since 2015, just falling from 139 to 132, which is a 65% fall since 1992 (393).

More beds look to be lost in the coming months the Au Caprice Guest House, which had 26, recently ceased trading, as well as Jersey Yurt Holidays and the Bakehouse Self Catering. At the end of the season, the Windmills Hotel will also be closing its doors to make way for flats.

But Visit Jersey says there is also good news, the updated Destination Plan notes that 2018 was a better year, and the island has seen” investment in its accommodation stock this year; a number of businesses investing multi-million pounds in their accommodation stock.”

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Pictured: Premier Inn opened its first hotel in Jersey at Charing Cross in June 2018.

They say the “highlight” of the year was the opening of the island’s first Premier Inn, which was part of an increase in 292 beds that year. 

Keith Beecham, Visit Jersey CEO, said: “We have seen confidence in Jersey now that the Premier Inn has opened. They have publicly expressed the desire to look for a second one. It’s a mark of success and optimism.”

There is also a growing number of islanders advertising their properties for rent on Airbnb. 145 of them were listed last November but the numbers increase significantly in the summer.

Mr Beecham says that “unregistered bed stock” could encourage visitors to travel to Jersey throughout the four seasons by providing the necessary capacity. But the island also needs to give people reasons to visit Jersey in the winter, autumn and spring.

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Pictured: The number of Jersey properties on Airbnb continues to grow.

“Four years ago, September wouldn’t have been a peak month,” Mr Beecham said. “Now we have the Superleague triathlon, the Festival of Words, the Marathon. Because we have those events, people are enjoying Jersey in September.

“One of our first recommendation in the new Destination Plan is to cultivate events outside of the main season.”

One of the other 2014 objectives, which remains outstanding is to grow long-haul markets such as USA or China. But this was just the result of prioritisation Mr Beecham said. “We identified markets closer to home that we could grow now,” he explained, citing the Scottish market which opened through EasyJet's new route to Edinburgh.

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Pictured: Easy Jet opened a new route to Edinburgh last year.

Another market that has grown in the past four years is the German one. More tour operators are visiting the island every year and Visit Jersey is working with its Guernsey counterpart to advertise both islands together and bring even more.

There has also been growth in the number of French tourists coming to the island, mainly thanks to a “good day trip market” Mr Beecham says, adding that the objective is now to entice more French visitors to come to Jersey for short stays.

“It is still important for us to grow the long-haul markets,” Mr Beecham adds. “There are still potential opportunities, but we need to consult with our stakeholders. We need to see if we have the right products and experiences for those customers. There are things that will take some time to change and we have been working on markets we could grow more quickly.”

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Pictured: Keith Beecham, Visit Jersey CEO.

Speaking of the new Destination Plan, Mr Beecham said that a decade will be needed to look back at political and industry changes as well as marketing campaigns. “There are two things that need to happened. As an island, we need to continue to improve our products to deliver good experiences.

“We also need to remain competitive to attract people that can anywhere in the world. We are fighting for their attention and spend and we need to be competitive to continue moving in the right direction.”

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Posted by John Henwood on
So, on balance reasonably good news. As the number of visitors grows the market will adjust and provide the number of bed nights needed. Most other long term objectives are being met or are on the way to being met. As for developing the long-haul market, the cost of promoting Jersey in, say, the United States, is very much greater than European markets and it must not be forgotten that Visit Jersey is still working with a budget that is about a million pounds less than the SoJ Tourism Departments budget of three years ago. With greater resources Visit Jersey’s reach will be longer.
Posted by Moz Scott on
Were it not for the delay of the closure of the Miramar Hotel, Visit Jersey’s numbers would look worse. Is ‘unregistered bed stock’ really the way to increase visitor spend? And to what extent might any recent increase in visitor spend be due to the low pound rather than VJ’s marketing efforts?

Reported milestones like the Marathon and Jersey Festival of Words are not the work of Visit Jersey. Visit Jersey is an organisation that endorsed the development of a luxury housing development on a prime beachfront site in Jersey. It confined its consultations on the feasibility of the proposed replacement restaurant to a discussion with a neighbouring hotel (a report of the reasons given by a number of local restauranteurs why they considered the restaurant to be ‘designed to fail’ is on planning register). How scientific was Visut Jersey’s analysis of visitor spend on that occasion?

It is clear from the Comptroller & Auditor General’s report on Visit Jersey that Visit Jersey needs to have clearer objectives set for it by Jersey’s government. Jersey’s government needs to be more focussed in its planning for tourist development, supported by changes to the Planning Law and the Island Plan.
Posted by Patrick Gormley on
Yet more "spin" from Charlie Parker's mate. Does anyone really believe this mulch. How can he prove these statistics . Just Mr Beecham keeping his overpaid post going till pension time...
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