This is a big year for Britain – with the eyes of the world focusing on our country as we celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last month and host the 2012 Olympics in August (4 weeks today will herald the Opening Ceremony). Never has there been a greater opportunity to showcase the amazing UK tourism product to the globe.
In a similar way events here in the Channel Islands provide an opportunity to attract new visitors to the islands. Last week Guernsey held its 2nd annual music festival (in much better conditions than the mud-caked Isle of Wight!). Tomorrow sees the 1st Folklore Festival in Jersey, with headliners including Van Morrison and Ray Davies of Kinks-fame, and Sark is hosting what is sure to be another brilliant folk festival. Even though the majority of those dad-dancing to ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ in Jersey will be locals, there is no doubt that these events will have attracted visitors from the UK and Europe – many of whom will be first time visitors. We plan to ensure that they go back home with wonderful memories of their stay and hopefully to return at another time.
In both islands, there is a genuine understanding of the importance of a varied programme of festivals and events that appeal to different groups. Whether it’s a small specialist event or the spectacular Battle of Flowers, without these festivals the islands would be far less attractive to first time visitors.
Looking out of the window as I am writing this, the skies are clear and the sun is beaming down. We seem a long way removed from the torrential storms and flash flooding so many in the UK have experienced in the past 24 hours. Many people must be wondering where the summer has gone – but here in the Islands we remain optimistic that the weather will live up to expectations in July & August, as we enter the busiest time of the year for our industry.
At the beginning of July, Jersey is running some more TV advertising to attract those still to book a summer break. For those who are keen not to miss the Olympics in August– you can still watch them on the BBC here in the Channel Islands.