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Jersey and Guernsey are usually seen as two peas in the same pod -- the Channel Islands. But, in fact, they offer very different conference choices. Sue Bryant reports on the charm of St Peter Port and the go-getting diversity of St Helier
It's easy to imagine the Channel Islands as one single product but Jersey and Guernsey are actually quite different when it comes to planning a conference -- from the size of visiting group each island can accommodate, right down to appearance, attitude and amenities.
Guernsey is small, quaint and cream fudge-box pretty, priding itself on not really changing with the times -- in appearance, anyway. It's closer to the British mainland and closer to the smaller islands of Herm and Sark for day trips. "People don't expect an all-singing, all-dancing destination in Guernsey," says Guernsey Tourist Board's conference manager Tim Orton. "It's more subtle. They come for things like the good food." And they certainly come back: clients include Penguin Books, British Telecom, Faberge and Renault Trucks, as well as numerous associations.
Jersey markets itself more aggressively and can handle much bigger events. Its capital, St Helier, cannot compete with the tranquil, pastel beauty of St Peter Port but the island's other attractions like the vineyards, the orchid foundation and the Living Legend, a new audio visual spectacular, can be used to great effect for entertaining groups.
But the essential appeal is the same: the Channel Islands are abroad without being abroad. People like them because they are different -- they have their own patois, …