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.

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