Blue Sail Report Consultation Begins

Julian Pearce from St Mary's TIC

You’ll have your chance to say whether you agree or disagree with the findings of tourism consultants, Blue Sail today at a special event in the Weslyan Chapel.

The £60,000 research project was commisioned by Island Tourism and aims to see if Scilly can stem the decline in tourism numbers over the past decade.

Julian Pearce says the islands have always relied on loyal devotees who come year-on-year but with competition in the market those people may not come every year. We need to get more first-timers who spread the word to friends.

The report says that most of our visitors come from the southeast and southwest of England and we should continue to target these areas with marketing.

Julian Pearce says a detailed survey of visitors using a credit card data agency analyzing 16,000 postcodes of visitors shows that we have a really defined group of tourists.

The report suggests that the islands target the over 45s, whose kids have left home and may have second homes.

The other target group are affluent rural families who enjoy the outdoors and seek ‘authentic experiences’.

Blue Sail say we should  change the way we promote our destination and stop using terms like sub-tropical or Caribbean. They  work against us as people don’t believe it.

And we should concentrate less on images of empty, white-sand beaches and show more action pictures of people enjoying sports in brochures.

That’s because the experts questioned people who met the profile of current visitors but who have not come here. A number of them said they aren’t old enough to come here yet. Blue Sail suggest more activity shots would address this.

We also need to offer more infornatoin when people are here and also keep them in touch with Scilly when they return.

In many ways it tells us what we already know but it states we do need to be more competitive.

You can find the full details of the report here