'Green' is the word at Tourism Conference

On November 8th, the industry gathered once again to hear from the Jersey Tourism marketing team and others about the results of the 2007 campaign and the plans for 2008. It was a special day for this blog, as it was the same event last year that resulted in the first post.

Last year, I was eulogising over the performance of Sunara Spires of Jersey Tourism’s advertising agency, Communiqué. This year she was back again, but this time had a less prominent part to play. Needless to say, Simon le Huray and his colleagues had plenty to sing about – with an increase in visitors for the first time in over a decade. Although one swallow does not make a summer, they have every right to be pleased with this positive development.

However, whilst not ignoring the role of the TV campaign, we have to look elsewhere for the key reason for the increase. Step up to the plate, the star of this year’s conference – Jersey Airport's Director, Julian Green. Here is a man in charge of his brief, who understands that the current key driver behind the growth in visitors is the frequency and availability of flights to Jersey.

It’s a truism – if visitors cannot get here, they cannot stay here. Julian and his team managed to deliver more flights, from more airports than ever before and with low-cost availability in the market throughout the summer, we have finally been able to compete properly in the late market. So let’s recognise that fact and make sure that whilst these airlines exist, incentives continue to be available to encourage them to open new routes to Jersey.

From one ‘Green’ to another and a quick word of support for Andrea Nicholas of the Green Tourism Business Scheme who had the graveyard slot at the end of the conference. I hope that many businesses will become involved in this scheme. As The Independent travel editor, Simon Calder pointed out – Jersey was one of the first destinations to be awarded Green Destination status and we need to make sure we keep ahead of the pack, as the environment continues to become a bigger and bigger issue in the tourism industry.

Of course, these two Green's don't sit that comfortably together - aircraft are definitely not environmentally friendly. But, place Jersey into a global context, then flying here from the UK creates a much smaller carbon footprint than a holiday in Majorca, which creates 5 times as much CO2. To see how much CO2 is generated on a particular air route visit Terrapass.com.

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