Monday, 10 August 2009

Where have all the Tourists gone?

Strange isn’t it how Tourism in the Channel Islands is on a downer when we were told that the world’s economic climate would benefit the industry - and how the weak pound and strong Euro would attract many visitors from the UK and beyond.

If you listen to local radio, or study local “news” you will be aware that nobody seems to know why visitors are on the decrease. Some say it is because of the recession, and many more scenarios have been put forward.

But have you seen or heard, in the local Press ANYWHERE that it just might be that we have a massive child abuse scandal where it has been alleged our Government are protecting well connected paedophiles and covering up for certain parties employed by our government?

At least in Guernsey the Health Minister, Deputy Hunter Adam, has approached the subject in the Guernsey Evening Press by saying, in not so many words, he can’t attract outside staff for his Department because of the Haut De La Garenne scandal and that people are tarring Guernsey with the same brush as Jersey.

Let’s face it, if the Channel Islands, cannot even pay people to come here what chance is there that families will voluntarily come here for a holiday?

To quote his piece in the Guernsey Evening Press “It has become harder to recruit for a number of reasons, but he identified one scandal that had damaged the international impression of how attractive it would be to work in Social Services in the Channel Islands. Haut De La Garenne (the former Jersey Children’s home at the centre of child abuse allegations) did not help us because people assume Jersey and Guernsey are connected and their bad press rubs off on us“.

It might just be time for our local media and government to face facts. Jersey has a reputation, in certain circles, as a “paedo’s paradise“. Unless the Jersey establishment start to prosecute some of “the more difficult cases” instead of offering only a few “sacrificial lambs” - then the stigma will damage the reputation of Jersey for decades to come.

This child abuse scandal is not going away until justice has been seen to be done. So for those who’s priority’s lay with the reputation of Jersey, start delivering some Justice, or it is you that is “shafting Jersey internationally”.


  1. I live in the UK, friends and relatives, whom in the past have taken at least one weeks holiday a year on the island no longer have any desire to visit Jersey.

    Regardless of the doubters opinions relating to the Child
    Abuse Enquiry it is more than obvious to the majority of sane minded UK citizens that the island of Jersey is now considered to be a no no for family holidays. The failures of holding those accountable for child abuse has sent a message that children are not safe on the island.

    Most families with children now really do research where they take their children on holiday. It could be a result of the McCann factor that has made us more aware of our childrens safety. Jersey is not a family resort any longer. I fear the tourist industry on the Island will only attract the elderly in the future, those who stay close to their hotels. It is no longer paradise island. I fear the Jersey Government have made the situation worse in their failures to support those who have been abused.

    The majority of us have moved into the 21st century, we all research our holiday destinations, research Jersey Channel Islands it makes evil reading, especially since only a couple of abusers have been held accountable, how many are roaming your streets?

  2. You wouldn't Adam and Eve it!!

    The JEP's comment today is about the tourist industry in Jersey. And guess what? not a single mention of a child abuse scandal.

    "Playing ball" springs to mind.

  3. I agree with every word you say VFC. Tourists no longer see Jersey as an attractive option, even in times of recession, but for other reasons also.

    I was talking to an elderly couple the other day who were spending their 60th wedding anniversary here. They have been regular visitors over the years, but said they would be glad to be returning home the following day and would never be coming back because of what Jersey had become. When pressed to explain what they meant they pointed out the ruination that is the Waterfront and said that the character and soul had gone from the Island.

    At the second Protest March this year I was approached by a gentleman visitor who enquired as to what the Protest for Justice was about. Given an explanation he said that in the 1990's he was present at a dinner held in London by 'an organisation' well known to us all in relation to child cruelty issues. He stated that a high profile figure connected with children's welfare had been talking about the awareness then of 'goings on' in Jersey. A show business personality with connections to Jersey had been mentioned as 'visiting' Haut de la Garenne on a regular basis, and at some stage paid a figure, allegedly £50,000 to buy the silence of someone on the Island.

    The gentleman who was forthcoming with the information was more than willing to join in the protest march, as he felt similarly disgusted by what he felt was a massive cover-up.

    I am in possession of names, but do realise the sensitivity of your situation VFC. Nevertheless, it is easy to understand why young families with children are reluctant to visit as Jersey now has a reputation which will stick.

    The Island in itself should be a most sellable product, but how can it be marketed as 'life enriching'?
    For whom? Victims of child abuse who will not see justice? No Jersey has shafted itself as you so rightly say - not Stuart Syvret, not Citizens media, but the Establishment and the judiciary.

    How embarrassing to think that Guernsey holds us to blame for its inability to attract staff to the Island because of the reputation that Jersey has now earned for itself.

    A re-vamp on a Pete Seegar song should be -

    Where have all the tourists gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the tourists gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the tourists gone?
    Not to Jersey - everyone
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

  4. I can imagine that Jersey exports are down as well. I live in the UK and boycott Jersey products and will continue to do so until the Balliwick of Jersey is run properly and a fair social and justice system is in place and is shown to be in place!

    Keep up the good work all and take care.

  5. Does anyone know where I could find a recent report on how much the Jersey Tourism department is costing the island. My point being, are we getting value for money? I'm hearing ever increasing cost, with ever decreasing visitor numbers.

  6. I was at a dinner party last year and when I told someone I came from Jersey, they replied: "That island of paedophiles and tax avoiders."

    It's a common opinion and, as Jill rightly pointed out, that image has not arisen because of Stuart Syvret and other local blogs. These are people who have never heard of Syvret or read any of the local blogs: they just read the national press and listen to the news.

    Because Jersey has failed to confront and admit to its child abuse scandal (like other institutions such as the Catholic Church, care homes throughout the UK, and some public schools), it has left the impression that it is corrupt and that the guilty are still walking around. Would you really want to visit such a place? Even worse, would you want to bring your children there for a family holiday?

    The leaders in Jersey think that they can buy and spin themselves out of trouble. That if they tell a big enough lie everyone will believe it. People aren't that stupid.

    Leaving aside the image which has been created, the reality is that Jersey doesn't have the same atmosphere and culture it did when it became a tourist hotspot in the 50s and 60s.

    Like it or not - there is a herd instinct when it comes to tourism: people like to go where other people are enjoying themselves, in order to be part of the atmosphere.

    They can do that now by buying a cheap flight to towns like Perpignan in France, or Barcelona or the Greek islands.

  7. It is 7.43 on 13th August. I don't have an email address for you but I wonder if you know that Stuart's blog appears to be down. I will check again later. It may have been removed?

  8. Proud Survivor.

    It all seems ok now.

  9. Thanks VFC. For a brief moment there my world fell apart!