The number of air passengers to the islands during this year's main tourist season is up by 717 on 2015.

The total number of visitors for the period between April 1 and September 30 was just short of 70,000.


Craig Dryden, the Council’s Senior Officer for Infrastructure, told Members at the Transport, Economic Development & Infrastructure Committee that numbers were “not quite where we would like to see them at the moment”.


Cllr Marian Bennett made reference to an obvious need for growth in visitors and asked: “Does the Council bear any responsibility towards that because I understand, having been at the Islands’ Partnership AGM, that the Council has withdrawn its funding?”


Craig said: “Our responsibility is making sure that the airport is operationally safe and compliant with the CAA.


“Ultimately in terms of commercial flights coming in, that is for the private sector.”


Cllr Gaz O’Neill said that he accepted Craig’s comments but did not entirely agree, adding: “If we are looking at the bigger picture ensuring that tourism survives on the islands then that is a completely different debate but I do think we need to have that debate.”


Senior Manager for Strategic Development Diana Mompoloki said: “The decision on any financial support for the IP or TIC will be taken by Members as part of a budget setting process so when we look at budgets again in December. That’s when we’ll look at all of our options.”

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