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19 July 2018

How These Businesses Are Making The Most Of Guernsey Tourism


While many things make Guernsey an appealing destination for startups, the significance of the island’s tourism economy cannot be overlooked. Summer (and all-year-round) visitors offer burgeoning businesses a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the island’s unique character. Exciting startups making the most of Guernsey visitors are cropping up everywhere — and some of them are making international headlines. Here are some Guernsey businesses that are doing an excellent job of catering to visiting tourists:

Haut Maison

Award-winning boutique liqueur producer Haut Maison was founded in 2012 by Stephen and Katherine Paine. It is now owned and run by James Le Gallez, who also runs Aperitif – Guernsey’s mobile bar company. Their local liqueurs are handmade in Guernsey from fruit grown on the island, with no additives or preservatives used. These luxury liqueurs are available from stores throughout Guernsey and Jersey, as well as being available to buy online. 

Haut Maison products are available at Guernsey Airport – the ideal outlet for tourists looking for local souvenirs to take home with them -and they can also be found in many local Tourist attractions, major stores and local bars across the Island and in St Peter Port – Guernsey’s capital and a well-known tourist hotspot.  

Haut Maison liqueurs are handmade in small batches, aimed at residents and tourists who want authentic local products. Their puffin branding draws further on their local heritage; Guernsey being a popular destination for puffin-watching when they arrive to breed.

Rocquette Cider

Local customs are a great lure for tourists eager to see new things and Rocquette Cider, the island’s only commercial cider company, has some great customs all of its own. It hosts an Apple Swap each year during the autumn months, inviting farmers from across the island to offload their apple harvests in return for money or cider while sharing apple-related stories. This informal transaction keeps the event open for anyone to come along and see what it’s about. 

Additionally, Rocquette Cider holds a Wassail ceremonial salute in the late winter, chiefly involving “large numbers of people consuming mulled cider on a cold winter’s night”. I’m not much of a winter person, so the prospect of enjoying some warming cider and mucking about an orchard in the dark is quite a tempting one. 

It’s great to see how this cider company has encouraged local community spirit through the simplicity of an inexpensive meetup. If you’re a startup, consider hosting your own industry-themed meetup to foster new and exciting relationships that will aid your business.

Guernsey Oysters

Oysters are a genuine local delicacy in Guernsey, known for their distinct flavour. As it says on the Guernsey Oysters website, “every oyster consumed in the Bailiwick has been reared in the Bailiwick”. One of Guernsey Oysters’ top selling points for tourists is its renowned mobile oyster bar, the HMS Oyster, which can often be found at public events like the Seafront Sunday open air Street Markets – a buzzing hotspot for visitors. The HMS Oyster will also be at La Viaer Marchi in July, a National Trust event with traditional Guernsey food and entertainment. 

Guernsey Oysters also offer oyster farm tours in partnership with Visit Guernsey, where they take groups and individuals to the farm for tours, awareness sessions, and naturally some tasting as well. A great way to get more visitors on the Guernsey oyster bandwagon with a unique, interesting and delicious day out.

Island Rib Voyages

Island Rib Voyages is a rib tour business based in Guernsey. Their service gives customers the opportunity to experience the Islands around Guernsey from a whole new perspective; zipping between the islands to see the beaches, caves and local wildlife such as seals, puffins and dolphins. All with the help of a friendly, knowledgeable guide. 

According to this feature in the Bailiwick Express, business has been booming this summer season. They are almost always fully booked and have added a second rib to tap into the high demand for their service. It’s easy to see why tourists are keen to see the native wildlife, and these trips let you see it up close in a way that few other services can provide. 

The good weather and surfeit of dolphins around this year has undoubtedly helped. “Mid to late last season and this season we have seen them almost every day and the number seems to have dramatically increased,” says Managing Director Dan Meinke. Island Rib has really cornered the market with its range of  ‘experiences’ – the Sark Coast and Caves experience, the Herm Explorer, a visit to the fascinating little houses on Les Ecrehous off Jersey and a trip to Hanois Lighthouse. You can even go to France for lunch! 

By catering to a range of needs, be it family-friendly fun or something a little more adventurous, Island Rib Voyages is the perfect experience for tourists who want to get out on the water and enjoy the islands from a unique perspective.

Guernsey Candles

No holiday is complete without mementoes, and Guernsey Candles is a great destination for colourful and sweet-smelling reminders of Guernsey living. Visitors not only get to purchase candles, but they also get to see them made, and even get to participate in the process too. Through positioning itself as the perfect spot for gifts for any occasion, it also taps into the need of many tourists to make last-minute purchases. 

Open a whopping 363 days out of the year, Guernsey Candles ensures that it is almost always in a position to make a sale. When you have so many tourists in the area every day, that makes total sense! 

What can startups learn from this? Take every available chance to do business, and don’t be afraid to make your own opportunities to help your business thrive. Your dedication will pay off.

Why Guernsey is a great place to grow your business

There are many things you have to consider when deciding where to grow your business. You must look at costs, prospects, trade and transport links, lifestyle, politics, and numerous other factors. But here’s what we can draw from these business examples to show that Guernsey is the perfect place for startups: Guernsey gives you so many options

If you set up your business in Guernsey, you’ll have a solid mixture of prospective customers: including a supportive local community and plenty of visitors ready to see what you do and looking for memories to take home with them. 

And when you need to take trips or bring in clients, you’ll have all the transport options you need, including an excellent airport and frequent ferry services to and from the UK. Where else can you find a startup hub with so much potential? 

Looking to start a business or find a new home for your growing operation? Talk to Startup Guernsey on 710043 or visit our website at www.startup.gg? Guernsey might be the perfect location for your new business. The fab businesses above have done it, maybe you can too...

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