Patrick Burke, owner and managing director of the Atlantic hotel on Jersey, has said the hospitality industry has been sidelined "for too long" and is pushing for the island's government to agree a 10-year plan with the sector to ensure its future success.
The owner of the four-red-AA-star, 50-bedroom hotel and chair of Luxury Jersey Hotels said he wanted to see a "much clearer vision" for the future of the industry: "I think there has to be absolute clarity on what a successful tourism industry on Jersey would look like in 2030 and absolute agreement through consultation on the roadmap that's required to get there, so there's no room for confusion…
"For too long as an industry we've been sidelined. It's absolutely incumbent upon us to make our voice heard and to insist that a proper planning framework is put in place."
Burke said he was already speaking with government and that he was "determined" to see it happen.
"We put our lives into this industry and it's much more than a 9-5 job. It's our vocation, I suppose, in a sense. And that's been very seriously threatened in the last year and I just think we have to stand up for ourselves," he said.
Jersey's airport reopened for visitors earlier this week and the hotel itself has been open to locals since February, which Burke said was keeping the hotel busy at weekends. Guests can now travel to Jersey without needing to isolate if they provide a negative test and are coming from a ‘green' area in terms of Covid cases.
Burke acknowledged that many people may not know Jersey is already open and may be reluctant to get on a plane or boat but was optimistic it could be a great summer for the island, which has been able to operate ‘much nearer to normal' than the mainland throughout the pandemic.
He said: "I think Jersey is well placed to have the best summer that it's arguably had for many, many years. It's just a question of when things pick up."
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