Maintaining Island’s air and sea links ‘vital’, says minister

MAINTAINING Jersey’s air and sea links is ‘absolutely vital’ for the economy, the Economic Development Minister has said after the arrival of tourists contributed to increased footfall in town.

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (31046279)
Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (31046279)

Senator Lyndon Farnham also said the ‘the situation at the borders will improve’ alongside the progress of the vaccination programme.

Footfall on the high street for the final week of May was 117,751 – a rise of 13,470 from the week before. This compares to 184,953 for the same week in 2019 and 72,083 in 2020. Town centre and events manager Connor Burgher said that the improvement was largely due to the warmer weather and travellers visiting the Island.

When asked if the return of travel was helping to restore the town economy, Senator Farnham said: ‘It’s all about balance. We must ensure that we balance the risks with the benefits, but I am confident that we can continue moving forward.’

He added: ‘The vaccination programme continues to make solid progress and the situation at the borders will improve. Maintaining our air and sea links is absolutely vital to our industries.’

Mr Burgher added: ‘You don’t even need to see the figures because town just feels busier, and walking around you can see that there are tourists.’

However, he said he was unsure if the high street economy would return to normal levels before the end of the summer.

He said: ‘I don’t know if we will get all the way there but we will certainly have a crack at it.

‘I am by no means getting complacent because the figures are going up – there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.’

He added: ‘It’s definitely a positive step and we are heading in the right direction.’

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