Child abuse allegations put off tourists
Tourists still see Jersey as an island marred by historical child abuse at Haut De La Garenne, according to new research.
Matthew Dugdale, from the University of Liverpool, interviewed more than 100 people at Jersey Airport and heard how visitors perceptions of Jersey changed following reports of abuse at the former children's home.
A high number of responses associate child abuse with the island and said Tourism and the States left a large number of questions unanswered.
42% of those questioned say national news stories about Haut De La Garenne in 2008 put them off visiting the island.
The paper called "The effect of negative media on destination branding: Altered perceptions in the case of Jersey and Haut de la Garenne" focused on the effect of negative media on destination branding and how the perceptions of visitors to Jersey altered following the incidents of child abuse at Haut de la Garenne.
Matthew said: "Since a child I have visited Jersey many times and following the incidents I noticed a slowdown in tourism on the island. However the incidents occurred around the same time as the economic downtown and it was important for me to understand the real effect the child abuse claims had on tourism to the island and what views people held."
Outbound passengers at Jersey Airport, a mixture of leisure and business travellers, were interviewed earlier this year as part of the project.
They were asked whether their decision to travel was affected immediately following the incidents at Haut de la Garenne.
42% said yes.
Some said it was because Jersey's government has given misleading facts regarding the level of abuse.
Others mentioned the altered perception of Jersey now being unsafe, that the incidents gave Jersey a bad image and a bad reputation.
Of the 42% who claimed that that their decision to travel had been affected, 28% of the group said that their decision changed over time and they started to travel to Jersey again.
But 14% still associate negative perceptions with Jersey and actively restrict their travel.