Small rise in visitors to Jersey but they are spending more

St Brelade's Bay There was a rise of 0.6% in the number of visitors to Jersey in 2011

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There was a small rise in the number of visitors to Jersey last year.

The latest official tourism figures were up 0.6% on 2010.

Senator Alan Maclean, the economic development minister, said it was very encouraging news at a time when fewer people were going on holiday.

The figures showed people on holiday and business trips to Jersey spent £242m in the island last year, making the States more than £12m pounds in goods and services tax.

The minister said this proved how valuable the hospitality sector was to Jersey's economy.

He said it also reflected a trend towards higher-graded accommodation.

'Maximum return'

Senator Maclean said niche markets including walking holidays and people visiting from Europe had been particularly important.

The figures showed the biggest rise was from mainland Europe, with nearly a quarter more Germans and 10% more French visitors.

About 98,000 people went to Jersey on business in 2011, also slightly up on the previous year.

Senator Maclean said: "I think we need to be cleverer in the way we spend our money, we need to get maximum return for every pound invested.

"I think we have to look at online marketing, which has been quite successful, social media, and PR.

"All these areas can target specialist and niche groups which has helped without doubt, to see these figures that we are able to unveil today."

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