Draft 2012 Tourism Strategy - Green Paper Consultation
Following the release of the States of Jersey Public Consultation on Tourism in Jersey and a detailed economic analysis by Oxera Consulting, a Green Paper presenting a range of issues and policy options is currently being reviewed by the Association. The 2012 Strategic Plan and Economic Growth and Diversification Strategy runs alongside these two reports and will be used as part of the JHA's review.
Members will be provided with an update prior to the submission of our formal response to Economic Development made on behalf of our members and the hospitality industry generally. As far as the shaping of the strategy is concerned we are closely evaluating current tourism trends, the real value of tourism to the Island and how we can stem the ongoing decline of visitors to Jersey so as to agree the future direction of our industry for the next five years.
The JHA will also agree our priorities and vision as well as assessing the policy options and other factors that are relevant, together with the levels of future support and assistance that is required in order to develop and sustain tourism in Jersey. The consultation period ends on the 30th September and apparently there have been almost 500 comments already made. We certainly hope that these opinions are tangible, deliverable and useful to the consultation process and focus on what is specifically required to give the industry clear objectives and achievable aims to secure the important contribution hospitality makes to the well being of the local economy.
The completion of a response to the Tourism Strategy Green Paper has seen a review of trading conditions both past and present. There are some positive exceptions, however from important feedback received from our members across all sectors of industry there is no doubt that 2012 has continued to see unprecedented changes in the economic position of Jersey, across all business sectors. Industry has borne the full brunt of the the impact and reality, the change has been very hard; businesses have struggled, and so have the people they affect. It is clear, that going forward it is no longer business as usual, the world has changed and the pressures on Jersey are extremely evident especially the impact on trading, jobs, unemployment, job creation and future job opportunities - these pressures are set to continue.
We will be carefully assessing current tourism trends and by way of an example, statistical data has confirmed the levels of reducing bed stock and visitor number patterns in the hospitality sector locally. Staying Leisure Visitors reduced to a figure of 334,420 in 2011 from 375,860 in 2007 with visitor arrivals reducing to 1,128,571 in 2011 from 1,165,345 in 2007. During the same period the number of establishments reduced to 143 in 2011 from 159 in 2007 and bed spaces reduced to 11,956 in 2011 from 13,050 in 2007. In 1978, a peak year for the visitor economy, there were 574 hotels and guest houses, 2 holiday camps and 6 campsites. In 2011 there were 68 hotels, 44 guest houses, no holiday camps, 25 self catering units, 4 camp-sites and 2 youth hostels making a total of 143 establishments. As a result of the economic and visitor downturn, yield and room rate across the accommodation sector has decreased. With this in mind one can see how vital it is to agree a tourism strategy that meets the needs for the future.
Minimum Wage - JHA Response
Following on from our July update, the JHA responded to the consultation regarding the 2013-14 Minimum Wage, a copy of our full response can be found on www.jerseyhospitality.com. As a result of the fragile and uncertain economic conditions that continue to prevail, the JHA has received a number of concerned views from our members to support our view that there is no good economic reason for the Employment Forum to consider increasing the minimum wage, thus we feel that it would be both prudent and timely not to raise the minimum wage at all in 2013.
The Employment Forum has highlighted in previous deliberations that there would not be a rapid recovery from the present economic decline. That is certainly borne out by the current trading conditions in the hospitality sector in particular, growth is not apparent, total employment in the Island has decreased significantly, there are still concerns about further redundancies and job cuts. As a result, we have recommended that the Employment Forum practices extreme caution in considering its review of the Minimum Wage.
Visit Jersey Shadow Board
Where the hospitality industry, amongst many other island business sectors, have been hard at it in August, this is the holiday season for many. As a result, we had hoped to have some further news to give you on how the creation of a Visit Jersey Shadow Board was progressing, especially the recruitment of a Chairman of the Board. We have confirmed our understanding to EDD of how this proposal was to be advanced including the terms of reference to be used. A few applications for Chairman have been received and where the number may be less than expected, quality rather than quantity is important and there may be the ideal candidates with the right experince to steer this board forward. We will keep you posted reference any further developments.
JHA - Training Plan for Locals
The JHA is advancing a carefully crafted training plan to include training and jobs it has devised for locals. This was recently presented to the Social Security Minister and is pending further discussion this week. Prior to that meeting, we have also presented the plan to a broad group of Association members who directly use the JHA's recruitment and training services. The purpose of the presentations was to initiate valuable feedback into the practicalities of the plan and its progress and sustainability, especially realistic numbers of locals who can be employed following training. Two separate presentations of the plan have now taken place and we have agreed the JHA's position prior to our next meeting with Social Security.
JHA Events - Future Format - Have your Say
Following discussion, with the Committee, it was agreed that we fully review the format for future JHA events. Currently we operate forums that give activity updates from the Committee and Executive, followed by luncheons with a guest speaker at an inclusive. per person discounted price. We also hold the Association's Annual General Meeting in March each year. However, we now feel the forums and luncheons may not be the ideal formula so we would welcome any views on what you would like to see in the future - please e-mail
. The working group has now met and new proposals will be presented to the Committee at its September meeting this week.
For your diaries, the next scheduled event is the JHA Christmas Forum and Lunch on Wednesday 19th December 2012.
Trip Advisor - Responding to Reviews
We recently gave policy advice to several members on how to respond to reviews posted, especially through Trip Advisor for their business. As far as a response is concerned your explanation should:
- Confirm your version of events through acknowledgement and a procedure to rectify
- Use professional, family friendly language
- Can you add something new to the conversation? what about your new menu, latest special offer etc
Seeing a management review is important to me - when asked 71% of the public agreed, 22% were neutral and only 7% disagreed
A management response to a bad review reassures me - when asked 79% agreed, 19% were neutral and only 2% disagreed
A management response to a good review makes me think highly of the hotel/restaurant - - when asked 78% of the public agreed, 20% were neutral and 2% disagreed.
JHA are also exploring aspects of the law on defamation in Jersey and hope to produce a letter to be used solely as a guide for members to use when confronted by a damaging or a defamatory review. It will be intended to use with review organisations like TripAdvisor or restaurant review sites. and we hope it may be able to be also used with a blogger, but, the JHA will produce this as a guide only and will be unable to take any legal responsibility over its use.
Affordable Housing Policy - JHA Position
Members of a JHA working group met with Economic Development's Assistant Minister, Deputy James Baker to discuss the negative impact that the Affordable Housing Policy will have on the Hospitality Industry. Deputy Baker, has subsequently written to the Minister for the Environment, Deputy Rob Duhamel on our behalf asking for a two week extension to the closed consultation process. He also confirmed that Policy H3 has serious potential negative consequences for the tourism and hospitality sector, as well as other sectors, where ongoing and future investment in upgrading facilities or potential exits from the market can be negatively impacted by lenders funding decisions which are largely based upon asset valuation. New actions of this nature by Government that reduce asset or land values will have a potentially disastrous effect upon the Island's business community.
For information, the JHA agrees that there is a fundamental need for affordable homes in Jersey, however the viability model being used and when tested by the private sector is flawed. JHA also has deep concerns for the future stability of the tourism industry in future years if potential land value is extracted from hotel and tourism sites under the Affordable Housing proposals. Underlying site value has long been seen as a major "store of value" by most within the tourism industry and crucially, this potential value bolsters the ability to invest back into tourism by tourism stakeholders. Imposing a planning system which acts to incentivise early exits from tourism land use is simply perverse in terms of job creation and economic diversity. It would act as a negative driver for retail and the economy generally, in the longer term, if tourism declines further. We feel that whilst well intentioned, this proposed policy has not been thought through, outside of the narrow considerations of planning policy.
History has also shown that many JHA members operate on a number of sites and have benefited from the flexibility to be able to realise land value from residential on one site to invest into other tourism projects. The JHA is generally supportive of higher and increased density development in urban areas predominately and feels that a move towards higher and increased density could benefit members wishing to expand their tourism businesses. We also support the re-zoning of redundant glasshouse sites in particular as these are unsightly for the visitor to the Island and we regard that re-zoning is a successful model that is tested and provides an alternative policy in these troubled economic times.
Fundamentally, there are many reasons not to invest in tourism, particularly as the financial crisis has developed. Many local tourism businesses are long established and have a generational history of investment within the past policy framework, investment into tourism is therefore a long term decision. JHA members require certainty of value to help with investment in the long term and any States policy to reduce land values does have a fundamental impact upon our members and makes tourism investment decisions more difficult and positive decisions less likely. Commuted sum payments have the same impact as actual provision of affordable homes on Brown Field sites - as they both act to reduce land value to our members. The commuted sum theory will, in our view, reduce and drag down land values.
We will keep our members updated with further developments.
Customer Service Breakfast Meeting
National Customer Service Week will be celebrated from 1 to 5 October 2012. Jersey will be celebrating its own Customer Service Awards on 5 October and it once again offers the opportunity to think about customer service and the vital role it plays in successful business practice and the growth of the economy. The relationship between employee and customer engagement, performance and profitability is rapidly becoming one of the hottest of all strategic business issues. How organisations have to engage and properly direct their employees in tough economic conditions is one of the biggest boardroom challenges of our times. To address these important issues, a 'Customer Service Breakfast Meeting' is being organised. Speakers will include:
· Peter Murley, chief executive officer at Hawksford and customer service expert;
· Catherine Gasston, marketing manager at Jersey Post;
· Katherine Salt, social media marketing specialist;
All are experts in their field and will be talking about the winning customer service strategies that they have adopted in their own businesses and elsewhere.
The managing director of 4 Star Services and JHA Member, Claire Boscq-Scott said: 'It's crucial that we all realise how, by working together and focusing on our customers, we can make a difference for them, our employees, our businesses and overall our local economy. This meeting will provide local organisations an ideal platform to totally focus on the services they offer their customers.'
The breakfast meeting will be a non-profit event and all money raised will be in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust Jersey Appeal. It will be held on Friday 28 September, at Grand Jersey Hotel and starts at 7.45am with breakfast on arrival.
*For any enquiry please contact Claire Boscq-Scott on 07797 828950 or email:
Discover Jersey Postcard Promotion
Following on from the Discover Jersey Postcard Promotion, Jersey Post have asked us to request our members to return any remaining 'Discover Jersey' postcards to Catherine Gasston, Marketing Manager at Jersey Post, Postal Headquarters, JERSEY, JE1 1AA. The promotion closed on Friday 31st August so Jersey Post Post would like an idea of how many are left over and therefore how successful it was. They would also be grateful if you could let us have any feedback about the campaign. This would help Jersey Post to assess the viability of running the promotion in the future.
JHA Member, the Liberation Group have had a busy Olympic summer with their own brewing Olympians picking up more awards: They have collected Bronze & Silver Medals for Liberation 140 in the Off License News' International Beer Challenge 2012 for design & packaging (www.internationalbeerchallenge.com)
The Silver Medal place on the podium went to Liberation Ale which has been named in The Independent newspaper's Top 50 Beers list (http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/food-drink/the-50-best-beers-8026040.html
Finally they have been awarded a 1* Gold Medal in this year's Great Taste Awards for Liberation Ale (www.greattasteawards.co.uk)
Will they be painting their post box GOLD?