CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM
A rather amusing aside was missed by the national press and the BBC when they reported on the scandal last week of St Helena’s spanking new £285m airport which can’t be used by jets because it is too windy to land.
True they had fun with the video of a British Airways jet having to abort a landing because of the wind. So no chance yet of a new tourist boom because the only way there is by a six week journey on an ageing mail boat.
But they missed an extraordinary table hidden in a report commissioned by the St Helena government about where the island was located.
The National Audit Office reports that a marketing company- Acorn Tourist Consulting – asked lots of savvy long haul tourists where is St Helena.
Extraordinarily 19 per cent put the island in the Mediterranean – perhaps near Malta or Cyprus.
Another 15 per cent put the island in the English Channel – perhaps confusing Jersey’s St Helier with St Helena.
Another 8 per cent thought it was a tropical paradise in the South Pacific – perhaps near Fiji!
And another 5 per cent thought it was in the Indian Ocean – somewhere near Sri Lanka perhaps.
And 15 per cent admitted honestly they hadn’t a clue.
This left just 38 per cent who correctly identified it as a rocky island in the South Atlantic.
Mind you it might be as well that the Department of International Development has mucked up the project. Not only will it give it time for the island to find a jet that could land safely there but it will give isolated St Helena a bit longer to prepare for the tourist hordes.
For the same company which discovered the ignorance of British tourists has issued another health warning about going there.
It warns: “There will be new expectations of St. Helena as a destination. In just over 4 hours the tourist will have flown from South Africa to the Island. No time to adjust, reflect, read, and prepare for arrival as they do at the moment. This is likely to make visitors more demanding and less forgiving. They will start to lose sight of the remoteness and challenges an island 1,200 miles off the coast of Africa and 1,800 miles from Brazil faces.
Today, very few tourists leave St. Helena disappointed, but this may change once tourists start arriving by air. St. Helena then runs the risk of over-promising and under-delivering, and this will lead to some tourists returning home and not passing on in a positive way that most effective form of marketing – word of mouth.”
What a curious post. Have you been sponsored by the St Helena tourist board? I hope their public conveniences are up to scratch. And perhaps you should mention the less than glowing review left on Tripadvisor by one N.Bonaparte, whose visit, it seems, was less than satisfactory.
And I thought you’d like a few posts with a sense of humour
I would. Are you going to write one?
Do you have an opinion on the findings of the Wass Report?
Very Interesting David although I suspect the reason for the airport has nothing to do with Tourism as the UK government will be looking at where it can build a secure facility to house the Crown and government in the event of revolution here or intelligence that someone is about to obliterate the entire mainland. I used to suspect this was the role of Gibraltar with its miles of underground within the Rock facilities, its two nuclear submarine ( present Trident) bays and continuing to be the centre for worldwide undersea cable communication as well as the modern Berlin in terms of human intelligence trafficking. However the recent decision to turn the overseas territory with its resident population 7 times that of St Helena but 90 times smaller in land space into the Hong Kong of the Med (See the Golden Book Publication for details) and present online gambling money laundering capital of the universe suggest they will have to look elsewhere.
I always though the concept of Airforce one where the President of the USA is alleged to go to control things in the event of a hostile attack to its mainland dubious for if one wants mobility as opposed to the underground bunker then the nuclear submarine is the obvious preference as a kind of Ark with defence capability and which also the subject in the Neville Shute 1957 book on the Beach followed by the 1959 film and which was one of the reasons I joined the Committee 100 and worked for the Direct Action Committee against nuclear war and first learned about underground police and intelligence from the perspective as a subject.
PS this reminds in relation your piece about Public loos in Russia as the number in the UK is radically reduced as part of the international business and finance plan developed in the 1980s to abolish the public sector provision, abolish trade union power and limit the power of all nationalist governments by creating globalization as the potential of digital world was first appreciated, that you picket up that the Russian people are fully behind the decision to retake control of its Black sea port after the machinations of the USA led NATO and the EEC revealed the USA decision to force Europe into managing and paying for its own defence and military system as the time approached where China overtakes the USA economy and the need to concentrate on Pacific rim north and southern continents especially since the big push from China re Southern Africa and central and southern America . The briefings on this vy leading UK international defence and geo political experts via public lectures at Newcastle University remain on line Colin Smart
Ascension (Island, that is) would have been a simpler option.