Southampton Airport and Hampshire attractions head to the Channel Islands to boost tourism

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Southampton Airport and Hampshire attractions head to the Channel Islands to boost tourism

Southampton Airport led a brand new initiative to the Channel Islands, to promote tourism in Hampshire and to position the airport as a gateway to London using the excellent rail links available. Visiting both Jersey and Guernsey, the successful event included media briefings, travel agent events and a public exhibition – plus a special appearance from Peppa Pig, of Peppa Pig World.

 

Paultons Park (home of Peppa Pig World), Beaulieu, SeaCity Museum, Southampton Art Gallery, Tudor House & Gardens, The Ageas Bowl and Business South all joined the team from Southampton Airport to promote tourism and business opportunities in the region.  Blue Islands, Flybe, Jersey Airport and Guernsey Airport were also part of the roadshow, promoting the increasing number of flights available into Southampton from the Channel Islands. In fact there will be up to eight flights per day between Southampton and Jersey and Guernsey. With a journey time of just 40 minutes, accessibility to the region is quick and easy.    

Not only is there plenty to do in Hampshire but Southampton Airport also offers islanders the perfect gateway to London in 2014.  South West Trains joined the event to promote the special Rail-Air tickets available to Flybe and Blue Islands passengers for just £30 return.

Dave Lees, Managing Director of Southampton Airport said “With more flight seats available between Jersey and Guernsey and Southampton Airport in 2014, it was the ideal time to highlight the great opportunities that this region has to offer visitors from the Channel Islands and the excellent transport links to London. This market continues to expand for us – in 2013 we saw a 6% growth on the previous year, with 323,134 passengers travelling between Southampton Airport and the Channel Islands.”

Jan Halliday, Southampton Airport’s Director of Marketing and Communications and organiser of the event commented: “We met a lot of potential visitors and gained a large amount of media interest for the region.  The Channel Islands account for 19% of the overall traffic at Southampton Airport yet many people from the islands visit Southampton for hospital treatment or shopping trips.  We’re really keen to attract people to stay longer to experience our beautiful region and this event is just part of a wider marketing campaign in the Channel Islands.”

Partners of the event commented on their involvement in the new initiative and why it was successful for them.

Flybe’s Regional Sales Manager for the Channel Islands, Paul Willoughby said: “It was an excellent opportunity to highlight the convenience of travelling to, from and via Southampton Airport. Flybe offers up to five flights a day between Southampton and the Channel Islands with the recent addition of our new summer flight, providing leisure and business passengers unprecedented choice and frequency.”

Hayley Webb from Blue Islands said: “The roadshow came at a perfect time as we have recently upgraded our aircraft and improved our schedules between the Channel Islands and Southampton – these include new earlier morning flight times and new Saturday evening services which are perfect for day travel.”

Commercial Director for South West Trains, Sam McCarthy commented: “It was great to be involved in the roadshow and to raise awareness of our special new Rail-Air ticket which provides a quick and easy link into London for a bargain price of £30 return.  Initial feedback from Channel Islanders was very positive and we hope that people will take the opportunity to try this new ticket.”

Nik Wyness from Beaulieu commented “It was particularly interesting to understand the largely untapped potential for attracting visitors from the Channel Islands.  A great opportunity exists for us to work with our partners in the destination to make the New Forest an easy to access and inexpensive proposition for both short breaks or longer stays in the area.”

Steve Newell, from Southampton City Council said: “Speaking directly to the Channel Islanders has really shown us the level of interest there is in visiting and staying in Southampton. Our task now is to spread the word about Southampton City Art Gallery, Tudor House and Garden and SeaCity Museum, amongst the islands’ residents. There is clearly a fantastic opportunity here to welcome even more visitors to our fantastic attractions.”

Andrew Chapman from Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, commented “We were keen to be involved in this initiative. The two days were a great success as we were able to promote ourselves to a new market as well as helping raise awareness of the quick and efficient links to the South Coast. Ultimately, we hope it will lead to increased visitor numbers from the Channel Islands to Paultons Park and the South of England.”

David Blundell from The Ageas Bowl said: “It has been an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of The Ageas Bowl and all the events happening this year especially with the India test match and loads of interest in Barry Manilow!  The opportunity to work with the other business partners has been very beneficial for all parties.”                                            

Geoff Paterson of Business South commented:  “The level of media interest surpassed our highest expectations.  Combined with the high level of press readership and radio listenership across the Channel Islands, this will significantly raise the awareness and profile of Southampton as Europe’s busiest cruise city and an increasingly attractive destination in its own right.”

For more information, please visit the Southampton Airport Website at www.southamptonairport.com