Hotel Manager Calling For More Local Festivals To Attract Tourists

Joan Shiles

Joan Shiles

Festivals could be the key to boosting tourism in Scilly according to an islands’ Hotel Manager.

And Joan Shiles of St Mary’s Hall Hotel says she wants to hear locals’ ideas for events that could complement the existing Walk Scilly, Art Scilly and Folk Festivals.

Joan says she’s noticed that her guests’ age profile is getting younger and she feels more activities could encourage people to Scilly. She hopes to find like-minded people who want to work with her to identifying and organise four new, special events.

More themed festivals on the islands calendar could increase the number of visitors and provide extra attractions for people who have already discovered Scilly, says Joan.

Joan says Scilly is “long past the point where businesses need to be defensive” and people should be working together as much as possible.



8 Responses to Hotel Manager Calling For More Local Festivals To Attract Tourists

  1. Jeff Eastick May 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Emma Pate’s comments probably apply to most regular visitors , including ourselves and our grown up children, but it is certainly true that transport prices do deter new visitors from coming to Scilly when they compare what they can get for going abroad. I believe this is their loss , but it is also Scilly’s loss and these days the initial cost outlay is what most holidaymakers take into consideration. Our children and grandchildren love Scilly but can only afford to visit with our help and this is the problem Scilly faces in attracting the younger visitors who will , hopefully , then turn into regulars.

  2. Emma Pate May 17, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    We come to the IOS every year and have done so every year for 10years now and are now bringing our young family. We simply love coming you have the most beautiful , tranquil and special location and that is its unique selling point…..a festival wont make us visit more ( it would probably put us off!) but without fail every time I mention your islands and our trip to friends everyone mentions how expensive it is to get there . I would say the transport costs are the most important thing to focus on. We will still keep coming as long as we can afford to , and in fact we will see you next week ! ….can’t wait !

  3. Sue Trapp May 17, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Perhaps some form of Loyalty Scheme, both on the accommodation side and the travel as well. Just an idea for discussion!

  4. Diane Cidade May 16, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I’m consistently impressed by the forward-thinking, can-do attitude of St. Mary’s Hall Hotel. While affordability is very important, I think value for money is paramount, and offering more activities and experiences for visitors to engage with is likely to be a very good way of enhancing visitors’ overall impressions of Scilly and their holidays here.

  5. Jon Mackenzie May 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I think the comments from Nobby, Eli and Colin are too simplistic – sorry folks. I’m sure there are lots of local businesses who would welcome the return of Camel Rock but who is going to pay the public liability insurance which, according to the organiser, was so expensive it was not worth their while doing it any more? If you three want to chip in and pay for it then crack on and I wish you success but I don’t think you will earn a bean.

    Regards hoteliers, I’m sure if the Government (not our much maligned council) lowered business rates then our hoteliers could offer cheaper rooms but looking at the rateable value of hotels on the islands – the information is all online – I sympathise with their plight and that of many other island businesses. In addition to the scandalous amounts they pay in rates, many are also paying staff accommodation and meals and employing key staff all year round for the sole purpose of retaining their services for the following season. I often wonder how it is possible with an income stream for only 6-8 months of the year but they manage it and I applaud them for it. If you guys can come up with a business plan offering lower prices that will work for the hotelier then I am sure they will all be delighted to hear from you.

    I don’t know the answer to our current woes but blaming the reasons on cost alone is no starting point to finding a solution. Joan is right in that we must all be working together and that means everyone. Yes, a holiday to Scilly is expensive but that does not mean it fails to provide value for money. We certainly need to be more creative and selective in our destination marketing and publicity, more persuasive in our efforts to fund the level of advertising we require and every individual needs to recognise their duty to ensure that the Isles of Scilly retain a special place in the hearts and minds of all who visit.

    Sometimes the comments on this particular website – excellent though it is – let the side down in my opinion. I used to think that negative views without a rationale or a positive alternative were worthless. I was wrong because such views might put people off visiting the islands and that could end up costing us all rather a lot.

  6. Nobby Nobbs May 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Bring back Camel rock and the music festival on the Garrison

  7. Ell May 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Totally agree Colin! If people can’t afford it they won’t come whatever is on. The only way to attract tourists and repeat visitors is to lower prices.

  8. Colin Bean May 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Instead of more “Festivals” to attract more tourists, why don’t hoteliers offer cheaper rooms and meals? If people can’t afford the transport or accommodation, why bother to have festival?