European visitors express uncertainty over travelling

JERSEY’S European visitor market could take time to recover from the pandemic, according to a guesthouse owner who works with German tour operators.

Owners and staff of the Panorama guesthouse, from left: Anita Cornelius, who is the daughter of owners John and Jill Squires, with employees Emma Snedden, Elise Kleis, Ellie Troy and Melanie Nobrega Picture: ROB CURRIE
Owners and staff of the Panorama guesthouse, from left: Anita Cornelius, who is the daughter of owners John and Jill Squires, with employees Emma Snedden, Elise Kleis, Ellie Troy and Melanie Nobrega Picture: ROB CURRIE

John Squires, who owns the Panorama guesthouse at St Aubin, said that overall bookings in August and September this year had returned to healthier levels because of new UK visitors who had been prevented from travelling abroad.

But he cautioned that the cancellation of flights from Germany this year, and in 2020, had left some of their regular visitors uncertain about next year.

He said that he had recently received a message from one client expressing concerns about 2022. She wrote: ‘I have just checked the Lufthansa website and they are already offering flights for next July but a similar thing happened this year and they cancelled. Whatever else there might be that might make my coming impossible, or my stay unpleasant, I’d love to come but I am a bit unsure because of the unpredictable developments and the potentially unstable situation.’

But Mr Squires said he was generally optimistic about the situation and that bookings for the height of the summer had rallied after they reopened in April but received no visitors at all that month.

The guesthouse, which holds the AA’s Gold Five Star Award, has been run by Mr Squires and his wife, Jill, since 1977 and with their daughter Anita for the past ten years.

Mr and Mrs Squires said they were hugely appreciative of the ‘godsend’ of government support through the staff payroll scheme, without which, they say, the bulk of their savings would simply have evaporated as a result of the pandemic. When they first came to apply for support, what the scheme calls their detriment – or loss of business arising from the pandemic – was almost 90%, a figure which this year has progressively diminished since that remarkable April low.

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