Downturn Seems To Be Turning Around

hugh town from garrisonThe Islands’ Partnership and Steamship Company’s joint promotion aimed at cutting Scilly holiday costs is being viewed as a success.

Last week accommodation providers were offered sizeable discounts for their guests’ travel on the Scillonian III and Skybus in June. The deal required property owners to reduce their rates, too.

Steamship Company Chief Executive Jeff Marston said he’s pleased that 51 businesses took-up the offer. But he’s waiting to see whether that translates into bookings.

If the promotion doesn’t bring more people over this month, they’ll do it in a different way in the future, he says.

Amanda Pender of the Islands’ Partnership says the Steamship Company has been really supportive and the tourism body would welcome further initiatives.

As part of the promotion, businesses could decide their own reduction. Self-catering property owners cut their rates by an average of 25% while B&B’s generally offered 4 nights for the price of 3.

Amanda claims that many businesses that are full have written to say they are supportive of combined discounts.

Notice of the ‘Flaming June’ deal was mass emailed to people on the tourism database, created from responses at the London Outdoor Show, Walk Scilly and a competition in the Guardian.

Although the campaign was designed to boost a quieter-than-normal June, things are looking up for the summer.

Jeff says July and August are “relatively strong.” It’s hard making an exact comparison, as the helicopters were still here last summer, but Scillonian III forward bookings are up 20% and airline seats sold in the period have doubled.



5 Responses to Downturn Seems To Be Turning Around

  1. Rolland June 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I think the downturn in numbers is largely due to the current UK’s weather patterns which, in turn, is forcing people to holiday elsewhere. June, up until now, has been rather kind to us in terms of sunshine and light winds, this obviously has an effect on tourist numbers especially when late deals are on offer.

  2. Nobby Nobbs June 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I think the tourist industry is in decline and will eventually bottom out at a much lower number of annual visitors. The islands has several choices, Stay in denial, accept the lower number and adjust accordingly or move to an economy based upon renewable energy in the format of a people owned company, so the people share the profits and therefore no longer need to rely on tourism for an income.

  3. Grey Hound June 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Maybe, just maybe this is the shape of things to come. Perhaps prices will stay at the special rate for next years bookings. Maybe businesses will realise that they have to reduce prices and have offers in place for next season to attract the customers with limited money. It’s about time they looked at the long term prospects for the islands rather than short term gain on an individual basis and it seems like this is happening. Sustainability is what it’s all about.

  4. Toby Braddick June 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I suspect few other than retired people could make use of such a short notice offer. It needs to be fixed in the Steamship Co’s fares that they are reduced in June and perhaps after mid-September. Accommodation owners also need to look at their own rates in line with a general lack of pay rises in most jobs for the last few years.

  5. Sara June 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Not very encouraging for those of us who book year on year in advance. For a family of 5 this sort of discount would mean quite a saving. Perhaps I would be better to hold off for the bargains??