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Constant border changes "impossible to work with" as hospitality crisis deepens

Constant border changes

Thursday 29 July 2021

Constant border changes "impossible to work with" as hospitality crisis deepens


The States' flip-flopping border policies are "impossible for hotels to work with", said the MD of one of Guernsey's largest groups, as she asks for islanders’ understanding during one of the most difficult summers in memory.

Charlie Irving-Walker, whose hotels include Les Douvres, The Peninsula and Fleur Du Jardin, said tourists are losing confidence in the constantly-shifting messages from the States over new travel restrictions.

In an open letter to customers, Miss Irving-Walker said a combination of Brexit and Covid has left them with dire staff shortages.

"Our wonderful staff have worked tirelessly through challenging and stressful times with the absolute priority of guest satisfaction at the forefront of their actions. Some haven’t seen family overseas for almost two years, others are working in roles totally new to them, and most are just desperate for a holiday like all of us.

"You might walk in and see empty tables which usually we would be delighted to offer up as a place to sit, relax and dine in abundance. These tables at the moment sadly we are having to leave empty. Not because we want to, we really don’t want to – but we simply do not have the capacity to manage any more than we are currently doing."

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Pictured: The double whammy of both Brexit and the pandemic has seen many seasonal and semi-permanent workers return to their resident country and not return, Randalls told Express yesterday.

The Managing Director of the Little Big Group of hotels has taken to social media to ask for islanders’ understanding during one of the most difficult summers in memory.

Miss Irving-Walker said that new travel restrictions - some of which, recently, have been announced and then aborted - had been devastating for the hospitality industry.

"We understand that Public Health is doing its best to protect islanders, but continued changes to plans for the opening of the borders has been impossible to work with. It’s left us in limbo," she said. 

"We worry that tourists are beginning to lose confidence in the messaging from the States of Guernsey. Travellers are looking for a guaranteed holiday which currently just does not seem the be the case.

"Significant cancellations have already been received and it’s anticipated that more are yet to come."

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