Hannah Beacom has been appointed as Chair of the new Tourism Management Board.
The Board is a brand new arm’s-length body, set up by Economic Development, to develop the long-term strategy for tourism in Guernsey. Hannah will now be responsible for recruiting the rest of the board members.
Many will know Hannah as the Manager Director of Island Coachways. She joined the family business in 2003, having trained as a chartered accountant with EY in Guernsey before gaining further experience in private banking. Island Coachways provides coach tours, transfers, day trips and other services to visitors.
We asked Hannah how she had come to apply for the role and what she was looking forward to achieving:
How did you find out that Economic Development was looking for a Chair for the new Tourism Management Board?
I represented the Guernsey Tourism Partnership on the Tourism Recovery Task Force. This committee brought together members of the industry to inform politicians and civil servants of our status post lockdown.
I was aware, through this committee, that Economic Development planned to set up an arm’s-length body which would be responsible for developing a new tourism strategy, fit for purpose post Covid-19, and to provide oversight and implementation of the marketing and events plans for Guernsey.
As soon as the role was advertised, I expressed an interest.
What attracted you to the role?
I was particularly interested that the Board was to be made up of members representing all areas of our diverse industry, including carriers, travel agents, event organisers and of course, the accommodation sector. I believe that we can only be successful if we work in collaboration and it is important that any strategy developed considers all areas of our wide industry.
It also seemed to make sense that the industry should be responsible for its strategy and promoting itself.
What are you looking forward to achieving?
The short answer is more visitors spending more locally.
I believe that we will need a short term plan to trade away from the impact of the two lockdowns. We have had different experiences through this time. Some left the industry permanently. Others had to downsize and cut back on investment. But we have others within the industry that have been able to invest and have come out stronger. From my perspective, my experience of lockdown highlighted the positive impact of Government and industry working closely together and I see the Tourism Management Board as a natural extension of this working.
The board will need to establish objectives and the strategy to achieve them. My priorities would be to ensure we collect robust data so we can identify the contribution that our industry makes to the economy; to address the difficulties surrounding recruitment (many of us have the infrastructure to deliver more but do not have the staff to open fully); and to ensure that all within our industry are providing a quality product that is value for money. But I am sure that those putting themselves forward as Board members will have their own ideas and priorities.
The Board will need to inform Government policy on many areas, including Population Management, Housing and Education.
Longer term, I would like to see a tourism sector so successful that it encourages more investment, particularly in air routes and increased bed stock.