Guernsey going great guns after major movie boost

VisitGuernsey has seen a “significant increase” in holiday bookings following the release of a major film, called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

In the five days following the film’s launch, the tourist board website saw an 130% uplift in traffic.

Key tour operator partners have also seen a spike in bookings.

C. I. Travel Group reported a 55% year-on-year increase in bookings to Guernsey during April compared to 2017, while online travel agency Opodo said Guernsey was its sixth biggest growth destination for the early May Bank Holiday weekend, with a 155% year-on-year increase in passenger growth.

Directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and starring Lily James (Downton Abbey, Darkest Hour), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is enjoying success at the UK box office, where it has already grossed £5 million.

VisitGuernsey capitalised on the film launch by securing an extra £330,000 of investment to use publicity about the film to drive interest and tourism growth to Guernsey.

A trade campaign has been running since November 2017 targeting agents with fam trip opportunities, sales incentives and tips and advice on how to sell the island.

Consumer activity includes working with leading brands such as WHSmith, Riverford Organic, Expedia and Nectar, and articles have appeared in newspapers such as The Times, The Daily Mail and The Telegraph.

Mike Hopkins, director of marketing and tourism at VisitGuernsey, said: “As well as bringing the island to new audiences, the film is reigniting interest from those who have perhaps not visited Guernsey for a while and are reminded by the film of the genuine warmth of its residents and unique charm of the island.

“We have worked hard to maximise the opportunity the film presents.”

Beverley Scarr, short-haul general manager at Premier Holidays, added: “We’ve seen significant interest in Guernsey following the release of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and our campaign to support the film.

“Promotion around the film has led to an upturn in sales for us in April and we expect this to continue into May.

“Feedback from our key agents has been very positive; those who have seen the film really enjoyed it as it gave them an insight into what Guernsey was like during the Second World War.

“They have taken advantage of our marketing campaign and special offers to inspire clients to visit the island, generating an increase in Guernsey bookings.”

Picture credits: Studiocanal