The Isles of Scilly’s 2018 official Visitor Survey has revealed a growing trend for short breaks to the islands, particularly in the shoulder months and by first-time visitors.
Overall, 2018 saw an increase in first-time visitors, up 3% on the previous year.
There continues to be a strong interest in visiting outside of the main season, with 68% saying they would consider visiting the islands between November and March.
The Annual Visitor Survey has been conducted by the Islands’ Partnership for the last five years, providing valuable visitor insight which helps the IP to shape the islands’ tourism plans and help grow the visitor economy. Last year’s survey, the most comprehensive yet, attracted 2,310 responses.
Once again, the survey saw no significant change in the reasons that motivate visitors to come to Scilly. The islands’ natural beauty, the general atmosphere and sense of welcome all scored highest again in visitor satisfaction ratings, whilst the features and activities on the islands which visitors considered of highest importance to them were walking, rest & relaxation, island-hopping, the beaches, local food & drink and wildlife.
This appreciation of the islands’ outstanding natural environment was further evidenced by 61% of respondents who indicated that they would be willing to support a local Isles of Scilly environment fund which could help with measures to reduce the impact of visitors on the islands’ natural environment.
Islands’ Partnership Executive Director David Jackson said: “The 2018 survey confirms the growing trend that we are seeing across the UK for shorter breaks and a desire for these shorter breaks later and earlier in the season. It is encouraging to note, that with September being a prominent month to visit the islands, and with twice as many visitors in the last quarter of the year as the first, that the Islands’ Partnership is leading the way with plans to help the islands extend the season as a whole - a key element of the Destination Management Plan."
The comprehensive Visitor Survey 2018 is available to view on the Islands’ Partnership website (members’ area). Or feel free to call in to the IP office to browse a copy.
The 2018 Visitor Survey was conducted by the Islands’ Partnership in association with The South West Research Company.