Tourism Partnership Praises Transport Investments

Cris Gregory, Chair of the Island Tourism Business Partnership

The Chair of the fledgling Island Tourism Business Partnership has praised the investments being made in the islands’ transport infrastructure.

Chris Gregory said he was ‘delighted’ at the plans to improve the quay and airport on St Mary’s as well as the Steamship Company’s significant investment at Land’s End airport.

A £4.5 million improvement plan for St Mary’s Airport is currently being progressed by the Council and the Government recently announced that it has given the green light for a formal bid for £8 million of funding for the development of the quay.

At Land’s End, a brand new, purpose built terminal building with new baggage handling facility, air traffic control and upgraded car parks are being created for opening in March, coinciding with the return to operation of the newly refurbished Scillonian III.

Chris says the significant investments being made to improve travel infrastructure both on and off the islands are part of a focused programme to improve the visitor experience.

He said, “Getting to the Islands is such a fundamental part of the visitor experience and people love the fact that there are no long check in lines, massive baggage halls and that there is a seamless and quick transition once they have arrived on the Islands. It is part of the unique Scilly experience.

Skybus recently announced that they would be holding prices at 2012 levels and withdrawing from the Bristol and Southampton routes to concentrate on their Exeter service. They said the average price from Exeter will be lower than in 2012 due to the expected increased popularity of this route.



8 Responses to Tourism Partnership Praises Transport Investments

  1. Richard October 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    We were looking at prices for a 2 week holiday in Scilly but looking at the problems they seem to be having with transport and their pricing etc. we have decided to go to one of the Greek islands instead. We visited Scilly a few years ago and loved it but it is so much cheaper to go to a Greek island. Hopefully, if the fares are better in a few years we will visit again but we will take the advice given and leave it until the last minute to book the plane. Hopefully, there will be more to choose from (hope someone gets a helicopter service going again to stop the monopoly)

  2. Bob October 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Appalling treatment of regular Skybus users. It seems loyalty counts for nothing. This will be our last visit to Scilly too. Sorry to the friends and businesses we have met, but prices are now higher than ever and the greed of the few has killed the love of the islands.

  3. Kate October 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Thought you all might like to see the official explanation I received. I found it so appalling, I have not pursued it…..

    ‘Earlier this month our 2013 fares were launched using the same fares structure as was used in 2012 for example, on flights where the low fares are available, there will be a certain number of seats at the lower price, once those seats have been booked the next level of pricing will be used until you reach the top fare.
    Mr Gregory is correct in stating that Isles of Scilly Travel has not increased its fares, Like in 2012, our 2013 fares start from £70 each way, the fact that you have paid £80 for your outward journey and £70 for your return journey is simply due to the way the fares have been structured and the time at which you made your booking.
    It is unfortunate that you made your booking just before our 2013 fares were released however our terms and conditions state that Isles of Scilly Travel is entitled to change its fares at any time. The published fare at the time of booking is the best fare available on that day, Skybus is no different from the majority of other airlines that use this same fares structure.
    I do hope this has now clarified our position on the matter.’

  4. Benjamin October 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    We too booked early and were very surprised to see that the prices went down within weeks with no refund. If people stop visiting the Islands because of unfair pricing not only the Islands will lose out but so will Skybus/IOS Steamship Co. We all know that we can go to other Islands abroad much cheaper and with much cheaper flights. Come on Skybus, refund the money to the loyal travellers and do the decent thing. If this is the shape of things to come we shall, after 30 years, be holidaying on islands elsewhere having already paid for this year. As Bob said, it is not the way to keep customers. A monopoly will not suit the Islands as greed will take over as it already seems to be doing.

  5. Sue October 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Bob is absolutely right – Skybus prices from Lands End to Scilly and booking return flights seem to be a ‘lucky dip’ exercise! One price one way and another price for the return trip. Even the staff in the tourist office don’t know why.

  6. Bob October 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    He is also wrong about prices being held by Skybus.
    As regular travellers on Skybus from Lands End we bought our tickets three weeks ago when the prices were supposedly confirmed and have paid an extra £20 because they have changed their minds. They may go down but you won’t get refunded as we have tried. Not really the way to keep customers Skybus, but if you are the only service I suppose this is what to expect in the future. Take note loyal travellers, leave your bookings until the last minute.

  7. Sue Williams October 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Why have we not had a Tourism Officer for 2 years ?

  8. al October 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    You might think Mr Gregory hadn’t heard about the withdrawal of the helicopter service or the contraction of the Skybus network! Can I suggest he reads Paul’s comments in Minister meets Frist item which may give him an insight into the problems many visitors will face. And a nice new terminal isn’t much help if your plane can’t take off because the ‘runway’ is water logged. etc