Community Backs Blue Sail Recommendations

The community is behind the ideas presented by tourism consultants Blue Sail, according to Council Tourism Leader, Julian Pearce.

Julian told last night’s Tourist Board meeting that the 143 public comments received were, in general, extremely positive, particularly regarding the need for a single representative body for the whole sector on the islands. This has not been achieved before.

But there was some disagreement over how soon the suggestions should be adopted.

Councillor Richard McCarthy stated that Blue Sail had made 72 recommendations and he felt they need to be prioritised so the key areas are dealt with first.

A panel called the ‘task and finish’ group will do some of this work and pave the way for merging Scilly’s three tourism groups including sorting out the legal and commercial frameworks required, and he acknowledged that it won’t be easy.

Julian Pearce, Council Tourism Lead

Julian said it wasn’t decided who would be on that group and they wouldn’t necessarily be the same people who will be on the new tourism body.

Julian also couldn’t estimate the time frame but he felt it was best not to hurry as it would be better to get things right.

But Councillor Marian Bennett felt islanders had been ‘fired up’ by Blue Sail’s work and they wanted action.

She said it makes her ‘heart sink’ when she hears a Council Officer saying that there was no rush.

Julian then added that he felt 80% of the community didn’t care about the structure of tourism, they just wanted action.

The Blue Sail document was formally adopted as a strategic document for the islands by the Tourist Board.