Premier Holidays Celebrate Historic Milestone

Publish date: 20 Dec 2016

An independent tour operator in the Channel Islands is celebrating 80 years of history with a milestone birthday.

Throughout 2016, Channel Islands specialist Premier Holidays has been inviting its loyal staff and customers to join in its birthday celebrations with a host of activities and events on the islands, which have included escorting dozens of travel agents on educational visits to Jersey and Guernsey. More visits are planned for early next year.

Premier Holidays has been arranging holidays to the Channel Islands for decades and is the leading tour operator to Jersey, Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney. Trading since 1936, the company was originally a bus company which developed a network of travel agents, before venturing into tour operation by launching its Channel Islands programme in 1979. In the early days, the travel firm formed Premier Airlines which was the first commercial airline to fly scheduled services from Cambridge Airport to the Channel Islands.

The company has a long history of employing born and bred islanders for their local knowledge, and many have worked for the firm for years. Premier’s first employee  in the Channel Islands was stalwart Jersey resident Penny Foster, who worked from home for a short period before the firm opened its first office on the island in the early 1980s, above a car hire company. As its Channel Islands programme expanded, the company took over an office at the Weighbridge in St Helier before moving to a bigger space near Jersey airport, and once again to its current home in Hallmark House. Current area manager Lynda Tanquy joined Premier in March 1994, working in the Jersey office to take care of holidaymakers in the resort.

Three members of the same Jersey family also have strong ties with Premier Holidays; in 1986, islander Sarah Scriven became Premier’s head rep for the Channel Islands. In 1988, Sarah was honoured with an award for outstanding courtesy and service to the Jersey tourism industry. She was followed into the company by her mum, Molly, who is still the operator’s airport rep on the island, and her two sisters, who are currently employed as island reps.

At the start of 1980, Premier Holidays launched its first Channel Islands brochure and within five years had achieved 14,000 passengers carried to the Channel Islands per annum, booked by travel agents from all over the UK. Over the years, the operator has grown to become the market leader to Jersey and Guernsey.

Susan Papworth, group managing director, said: “We’re hugely proud to have reached such an important milestone in our history, which is a significant achievement. Our story started all those years ago and Jersey and Guernsey are still two of our most popular – and important – destinations. We’ve seen some significant changes over the years, from major new hotel openings and refurbishments to the explosion of the foodie scene and the shift from traditional seven-night Saturday to Sunday holidays to short breaks.

“When we first started out, the Channel Islands were the holiday destination and we couldn’t get beds on the islands. We developed great relationships with Westview and Silver Springs in Jersey, and have been partners with Modern hotels such as the Mayfair and Morvan hotels since the beginning.

“Over the decades we’ve thoroughly enjoyed showing people what the Channel Islands has to offer, and reminding them that they don’t have to travel too far from home to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the islands off their own shores.”

Latest news

17 Jun 2024

Head Sommelier at The Atlantic Hotel and Ocean Restaurant, Named in 2024 Top 100 UK Sommeliers

The Atlantic Hotel and Ocean Restaurant is thrilled to announce that Alexandru Dan, its highly regarded Head Sommelier, has been ranked #40 in the 2024 Top 100 UK Sommeliers by The Sommelier Edit.
13 Jun 2024

Army of Volunteers at the Seaside Café in Grève de Lecq

The Jersey Financial Services Commission is fielding volunteers from all areas of the organisation to assist the small team at the National Trust for Jersey to paint, clean and tidy the former Seaside Café and surrounding areas at Grève de Lecq.
12 Jun 2024

The Atlantic’s Jack Edgar Named Semi-Finalist in Prestigious National Chef Competition

Jack Edgar, Senior Chef de Partie at The Atlantic Hotel and Ocean Restaurant, Jersey, has been named a semi-finalist in the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs Young National Chef of the Year competition.
04 Jun 2024

New Audio-Visual Installation ‘Layers of Time’ at 16 New Street.

Kindly supported by The Jersey Community Foundation with funds from the Channel Islands Lottery.
22 May 2024

#LoveNature Festival 2024 – 26th May-2nd June

The Trust is staging its eighth environmental festival - #LoveNature over the half term holidays from 26 May to 2 June.
20 May 2024

New Visitor Films Screening at Le Moulin de Quétivel

The Trust is excited to announce the release of two brand new visitor films screening at Le Moulin de Quetivel, Monday – Friday, 10am – 1pm.
20 May 2024

2024 Sunset Concert dates announced

This year, the Sunset Concerts will be taking place on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th June and attendees are once again invited to bring a picnic and enjoy fantastic live music in the beautiful setting of Grantez.
15 May 2024

The Norman Market is back in town!

Maison de la Normandie et de la Manche announce that the Norman Market is coming back to Jersey and will take place on the Royal Square from Thursday 23 May until Monday 27 May from 9am to 6pm every day.
Two people do yoga on a beach
13 May 2024

Embark on a wellness retreat at L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa

Reconnect with yourself and nature with a one-day Wellness Retreat on Sunday, 26th May.
01 May 2024

Greenhills Awarded Tripadvisor’s 6th Best Hotel in the UK & Channel Islands 2024

We are proud to announce that the Greenhills Country House Hotel has been voted as the 6th best hotel in the UK and Channel Islands in the Tripadvisor 2024 Travelers’ Choice Awards, Best of the Best Hotels.
30 Apr 2024

One week countdown to the Liberation International Music Festival

Jersey gets warmed up to welcome the sixteenth Liberation Music Festival organised by the charity Music in Action.
26 Apr 2024

La Corbière Lighthouse floodlighting extended.

Ports of Jersey is extending the floodlighting of La Corbière Lighthouse for a further two weeks, until 12 May, in response to popular demand.