Lana Crouch
26th July 2019

An exciting, new opportunity for Jersey residents to explore and re-discover the island’s wide-ranging local attractions is set to launch in March 2020.

Visit Jersey have signed up to offer a Big Weekend as a way of building on its visiting friends and relatives (VFR) sector and showcasing the island’s credentials as a year-round visitor destination.

The Big Weekend campaign provides tourism and hospitality businesses with the opportunity to encourage residents to discover the ‘hidden gems’ available to them right on their doorstep by going into a ballot for free tickets for entry and special offers. This creates a greater awareness of the destination’s attractions and experiences and enables local hosts to become better informed tourism ambassadors.

The first Big Weekend campaign launched in Kent in 2006, and currently runs annually in Kent, Hertfordshire and Essex, with the same platform also now being used by the Discover Ferries consortium to run a “Big Ferry Fortnight” campaign.

The first Jersey Big Weekend will take place on 28th and 29th March and form part of Jersey Hospitality Association’s Zest Festival, an existing celebration of the island break’s diverse, unique and outstanding hospitality industry. Details of how to enter the ballot will be announced in January 2020, and tourism attractions interested in taking part in next year’s Jersey Big Weekend are invited to get in touch with the Visit Jersey team.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture for Jersey said:“In partnership with industry, we are proud to add the Big Weekend to Jersey’s growing event portfolio. The Jersey Big Weekend will inspire islanders and visitors to discover everything the island has to offer year-round. With the support of over 25 attractions and activity providers, the Jersey Big Weekend will celebrate all that is special about the island break and build on Jersey’s established event calendar.”

Go To Places Deputy Chief Executive Officer David Curtis-Brignell welcomed Jersey into the campaign and added: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jersey into the Big Weekend family. This campaign is all about delivering the message to residents that there is so much to see and do right here on their doorstep. It really is a wonderful opportunity for discovering and rediscovering a whole host of superb attractions and activities – with the added bonus of everything being so close to home. We’re certainly looking forward to learning more about the unique experiences and the incredible variety and quality of tourism businesses on the island.”

In addition to Jersey, GTP will soon be announcing a further mainland destination who will run a Big Weekend in 2020. David Curtis-Brignell added: “More and more destinations are realising that there is a real need to raise awareness of visitor experiences amongst their residents, and the VFR sector is so important to the visitor economy. The Big Weekend is a very affordable, low-cost way of reaching this market, and the return on investment is significant.”