Guernsey's tourism industry is worth investing in, according to Ian Walker, who recently purchased the Peninsula Hotel.
Mr Walker, who already owns and has invested in Les Douvres and the Fleur Du Jardin Hotel, said he has shown his commitment to the island with this recent purchase.
Talking about tourism in Guernsey right now Mr Walker said: "It is alive and well and has the best potential at this moment in time with the potato peel book and the fact the island is so safe. Did you know that you cannot purchase the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie book at Guernsey Airport? I am going to get a stand and have it available here at the Peninsula. We really need to grab the book and drive with it to market the island."
Following his purchase of the Peninsula Hotel he confirmed that bookings from holiday makers were high. He said: "We have 99 bedrooms at the Peninsula Hotel and from April to October the hotel is pretty much full with 100% tourists many of whom are repeat visitors and organised tour groups."
Pictured: The Peninsula Hotel
Mr Walker said his intention is to improve and upgrade the Peninsula just like he had Les Douvres and the Fleur Du Jardin: "My plan is to modernise and stylise the Peninsula and hopefully soften its external profile. I plan to invest without upsetting our regulars but hopefully create a venue with a broader appeal. It is important that I keep local customers happy too so I will be keeping things like the popular Sunday lunch and investing in entertainment."
Pointing out the large entrance lobby Mr Walker said: "I have already purchased a piano and I really want to make the most of this area so am hoping to create live music events. Perhaps have workshops for local musicians and jazz nights, we have the room to do that here."
Talking about some of the challenges facing hoteliers in the island Mr Walker said: "Our transport links are awful, both air and sea and the States really need to do something about it. The States have the money to invest and there is a huge market in Guernsey. I have heard that the States were offered air links to London City, Dublin and Luton for just one million pounds but turned it down. Our States are a bunch of individuals who are not business people and lack innovation."
Mr Walker also believes the island would benefit from more links to Europe: "Our tourist demographics are interesting as we do get quite a lot from Europe, we certainly had a better year last year and had more coming from France than ever. We could do with some links to Amsterdam as the Dutch love coming here."
The hotel will soon be having new branding and a new logo but will be keeping the name. A new website will also be launched soon to encourage online bookings and social media interest.
Speaking during international women's week Mr Walker said: "I am a huge supporter of ladies in business and business women in particular can add a unique value. My wife shares my passion for this business and is very much the stylist! My daughter is also a great local business woman and runs Les Douvres so this really is a family business too."
Giving a final message about the tourism industry Mr Walker said: "Its not thriving but as long as you do something with what you have got then it is a great business to be in."
Pictured main image: Ian Walker new owner of the Peninsula Hotel
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