April is always a bit of a funny month in the travel industry – and it’s all Easter’s fault. Every year it moves around. Last year 22-25 April, this year 6-9 April & next year Good Friday is in March! It means booking patterns are all over the place due to bank holidays. For travel businesses it would be great if Easter was like Christmas and celebrated on the same date every year, but then changing the Christian calendar may be a bit of a challenge. So we usually wait until the end of the month, before drawing conclusions and sure enough since Easter this year we have seen a good pick-up in sales for the summer.
Another difference this year, is that the weather is acting as if it is April rather than mid-summer. Last year I can recall spending Easter in shorts and T-shirts on the beach with temperatures in the mid-20’s, whilst this year we seem to be experiencing a more appropriate climate for the time of year. I like the spring months – everything in the islands looks fresh and green and the light is spectacular. Great for photographers.
Last week we welcomed a group of some of our top travel agents to the island of Jersey. I always love meeting up with these key partners, as they are ‘at the coalface’ with our clients and can give us some honest feedback on both our service and the products we sell. Those agents who have never visited before generally have their perceptions shattered as the islands have so much more to offer than they imagined. Nothing beats the experience of seeing the product you are selling – which is why we try to run a few trips for our travel agents every year.
Finally a mention of the islands sporting achievements and specifically our rugby teams. Guernsey were crowned champions of London South Division 1 and will be playing in National League 3 next season. Meanwhile Jersey are the champions of National League 1 and have gained promotion to the second tier of English rugby – The Championship. This is their 4th promotion in 5 seasons. Congratulations to both clubs. Channel Islands’ rugby now provides a major opportunity for tourism development as supporters of visiting teams will combine a trip to support their team with a short break in our beautiful islands.