ADVANCE bookings to the Channel Islands by car passengers from the UK and France have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, according to Condor Ferries.
But the company admits that attracting foot passengers remains challenging, especially from France, because of the requirement to carry passports as a result of Brexit.
Condor’s head of marketing, Justin Amey, described the demand as ‘very encouraging’ and an indication that confidence amongst consumers was increasing.
Overall car passenger volumes on the company’s UK and French services with the Jersey and Guernsey are now running slightly ahead of 2019.
Mr Amey said: ‘It is early days, of course, but it is pleasing to see that the interest is returning and it is a good start to the season.’
To highlight the attractions of Jersey and Guernsey, Condor has launched a new marketing campaign and is partnering with Visit Jersey and their Guernsey counterparts in plans that include inviting 50 regional travel journalists and editors to visit the bailiwicks and write about their experiences.
He added: ‘It’s all about promoting the Islands and using sea travel to get here. We launched our travel business, Condor Breaks, last year to target UK consumers, and after a steady start, the past few weeks have seen a real surge in interest for combined hotel and ferry bookings.
‘We are now exploring opportunities to provide Islanders with hotel and ferry packages to France and the UK, so we are hopeful that the success of last summer, coupled with the positive figures for this year, offers optimism that 2023 could be a good season for everyone,’ Mr Amey said.