At the headline level- visits figures are virtually the same as for the first five months of last year. This is due to a buoyant day-trip market, both leisure from France and a bounce-back in Business day trips. The number of overnight holiday visits shows a 20% year-on-year drop, but it is important to recognise that only one-quarter of all overnight holiday visits take place in the first five months of the year.
In the first quarter of 2018
- visitors spent more than £21m, up £3m compared with the same period of last year
- the island achieved a Net Promoter Score for Holiday visitors of 54, up from 46
Between January and May
- the number of visitors was marginally lower by 1% than for the same period last year
- more than a 40% jump in French visitors
- the average duration of a Holiday visit to Jersey (that lasted at least one night) stood at 3.9 nights
- the number of Holidays to Jersey reduced by 13%
- Business visits are 7% more than for the same period of last year
Seasonal factors can play an important role in shaping tourism performance in the short-term, and the exceptionally early Easter in 2018 has acted as something of a headwind for Jersey’s visitor economy.
Nevertheless, provisional data from the Exit Survey indicates that in the first quarter of this year visitors to the island spent more than £21m, up by around £3m compared with the same period of last year.
Although based on a comparatively small sample, it is also encouraging to note that in the first three months of 2018 the island achieved a Net Promoter Score among its Holiday visitors of 54 – up from 46 at the same time of year in 2017.
Overall passenger numbers arriving in the island across the first five months (January to May) show a 0.5% increase. These figures include both retuning residents as well as arriving visitors, and Exit Survey data indicates that between January and May the number of visitors to Jersey was marginally lower, by 1%, than for the same period of last year. The early Easter (compared with last year) helps to explain this small reduction, as traditionally consumers are more likely to use Easter to go away for a few days when it falls slightly later in the spring.
In 2017 travel by school groups both within France, and to other destinations from France, was sharply lower than in previous years due to concerns around terrorism, but it is evident that there has been a strong bounce-back by this segment in 2018, with a more than 40% jump in French visitors to Jersey between January and May.
This growth helps to account for the significant increase in day-trip visits to Jersey in the early months of this year, with a further boost to this market being the absence of fog disruption impacting on Business day-trip visits to the same extent as it did in early 2017.
During the period January to May the average duration of a Holiday visit to Jersey (that lasted at least one night) stood at 3.9 nights, down slightly on the 4.1 for the same period of 2017. This, combined with lower length of stay in other journey purpose categories, and an overall decline in overnight visits, means that the estimated volume of visitor nights in Jersey during January to May is 20% lower than for the same period of last year, but to put this in context, less than 30% of all visitor nights in Jersey were accounted for by the January to May period last year.
The counter to a strong showing for day-trip visits when overall visitor volumes are flat is that the number of visits seeing at least one night spent in Jersey is 10% lower than for the equivalent months of 2017.
There has been a 13% drop in the number of Holidays to Jersey in the first five months of 2018, whereas Business visits are estimated at 7% more than for the same period of last year.
By mode of travel Scheduled Ferry is seeing strong year-on-year growth, up around 15,000, whereas the estimated number of visits that are by Scheduled Air is around 20,000 fewer than in the first five months of last year, with travel by islanders accounting for a somewhat higher share of air travel.
It is too early in the year to see the impact of increased connectivity from Germany with volumes close to the 5,000 or so visits seen during the January to May period of 2017.
Across all trip purposes 40% of visits to Jersey between January and May were by those encountering the island for the first time, fractionally lower than the 42% when looking at the same months of last year. Focussing just on Holiday visits, the proportion of visits by first-time visitors during the first five months of this year stood at 50.7%, almost identical to the figure for the same period of last year.
Ratings of different aspects of visitor’s experience in Jersey remain steady, with the highest performing areas being ‘Beaches and Countryside’, ‘Cleanliness’ and ‘Safety and Security’.
The table below presents a range of headline metrics – it is recommended to focus more on the rolling three month and year-to-date estimates than those for a single month. Once June data is available annual change data for the rolling twelve-month period will be included, and will make for a more reliable indicator of the direction of travel.