With the island thrust onto the global stage for several reasons over the past 18 months, innovative little Jersey appears to be on the "cusp of something very exciting".
That's according to wellbeing columnist Emilia Summers, who had this to say...
For the 100,000 inhabitants of the largest Channel Island, Jersey has been the centre of our universe for the last 18 months with the inability to leave thanks to the global pandemic. Like me, you may have been living vicariously through episodes of ‘Love Island’ and ‘Below Deck’ just to remember what a holiday felt like.
Collectively we’ve made plans to escape, cancelled said plans, kicked and screamed like a toddler that life isn’t fair, before finally accepting the position and reflecting on just what it is we have around us. With no distractions available, everyone’s focus is firmly on what Jersey could achieve and our potential to be a shining example for the world of how to get things done right – if only we could get our act together.
The island’s infrastructure is the perfect breeding ground for innovation and excellence, churning out not only some world-class athletes but a raft of innovative business models and, of course, one swoon-worthy Superman!
Pictured: Jersey has even churned out Superman!
With our own Government in control of the direction of the island, we have the capability to take fast and decisive action, using policy and legislation to adapt to the sudden changes the world has experienced. We’ve learnt how to work together better during lockdown, utilising the island’s resources and sparking some exciting collaborations.
Jersey has also long been highlighted as the perfect environment to test sustainability strategies. We have a good-sized island great for trialling measures which, if successful, could then be rolled-out to larger countries, along with the right economic model to install positive change. It has the potential to become a centre of excellence with many championing it to become the first ‘carbon positive’ jurisdiction in the world.
Pictured: Many are championing the island to become the world's first "carbon positive" jurisdiction. (Danrok/Wiki)
Love it or hate it, there were certainly worse places to be stuck in the midst of a pandemic with plenty of rolling hills and beaches to escape to without coming into close contact with others. The island was quick to adjust to remote working practices with one of the fastest broadband offerings in the entire world and now is carefully evaluating the advantages the last year have revealed and what changes can be kept enabling us to work flexibly and efficiently in a constantly changing environment.
Far from a small fish in a large pond, Jersey has demonstrated its ability to match the abilities of countries much bigger than itself, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in terms of its targets and achievements. It might be that the lure of the island has caused some of the best minds to relocate to our shores, sharing their knowledge and shaping the next generation of leaders who may not be as keen as we were to leave the island at the first given opportunity. Being on island for so long has developed a greater sense of Investment within the Jersey community, one that isn’t necessarily financial but driven by a collective need for change.
I’m not the only one whose attention has been diverted to this small but immaculate island. News crews from around the world have been clamouring to come to Jersey to document the recent dispute between local and French fishing vessels. Throw in a soon-to-be-launched season two of the Real Housewives of Jersey, and our island of nine miles-by-five is steadily making a name for itself for something other than being an idyllic tax haven. Maybe over the last few months we’ve made people sit up and take notice for all the wrong reasons, but the emphasis remains that we are not a jurisdiction to be trifled with, nor underestimated.
Pictured: Season two of the Real Housewives of Jersey is coming soon.
With travel restrictions slowly relaxing those in the UK are looking to the island as a safer and closer alternative for their summer holidays, with the hospitality industry poised for what could be one of their busiest ever summers.
The island has worked hard to cast aside its reputation as a destination for the over-60s, with a slew of festivals, family entertainment and summer events. All eyes have turned to Jersey as the perfect mini-break destination with the promise of hours of endless sunshine - and who are we to argue with them?
It feels like we are on the cusp of something very exciting, with a wealth of opportunities to redefine what our island symbolises. We are so much more than potatoes, cows and superheroes (sorry, Henry) and now is the time to prove it!
Pictured: "We are so much more than potatoes, cows and superheroes."
Having wanted to escape my home for the past two years, I now find myself wondering how I can best promote the island and all it can possibly offer. Perhaps it takes a global-scale crisis to re-evaluate what is important, and to be grateful for what you have got.
Hidden paradise, or an island simply too good to be true? I’ll leave you to decide.