The Islands' Partnership has said it is "incredibly disappointed" that the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group is adding an accommodation section to its website.
In a strongly worded statement, the directors of the IP said the move was likely to damage the organisation and asked members to defer any engagement with the new site pending further discussion.
Read the statement in full below:
Over the past couple of days, we have been made aware that the Steamship Company is in the process of building a new accommodation section to their own website. Indeed, some of you may already have been contacted about this directly and asked to supply your details to be listed on the site.
Suffice it to say, the Islands' Partnership is incredibly disappointed by the Steamship Company's decision to pursue this course of action - and deeply concerned about the impact this is likely to have on our visitislesofscilly.com website and the Islands' Partnership as a whole.
As many of our members will be aware, the visitislesofscilly.com website is hugely important, both to our organisation and to the islands. It is our tourism flagship and plays a huge part in underpinning our efforts to support and grow our tourism industry. We feel strongly that such a move is likely to damage us as an organisation. It risks diminishing our leadership role, our ability to deliver the wide range of services and support to you, our members – and ultimately, it challenges the spirit of partnership and of working together that we have all worked so hard to build over the past six years.
We have been given assurances in the past by the Steamship Company that any steps in this direction would be taken collaboratively, furthering the partnership that we have enjoyed since the formation of the IP. Sadly, this option has been rejected and the creation of an entirely duplicated accommodation directory is now underway.
We remain hopeful however that an alternative solution and more collaborative approach might still be found that would see the Steamship Company continue to work with and alongside the Islands' Partnership, visitislesofscilly.com and you, our members, as the close and valued partner they have always been.
However, for now, we would ask you, more than ever, to demonstrate your support for the Islands' Partnership by deferring any engagement with this new site, pending the outcome of our discussions with the Steamship Company.
If you are concerned by these developments, or would like to get in touch with us to share your views, please email on the usual address of firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01720 620601 or simply drop by at the office or speak to one of the IP Directors.
Thank you, as ever, for your continued support.
Directors of the Islands' Partnership