Scilly’s tourist industry handily compliments its flower farming. Just as the picking and packing of flowers is coming to an end, the boat tour operators, holiday home cleaners, ice cream sellers etc. are back in work again.
The main season kicks off in April with a popular walking festival. Momentum is then maintained with a series of events through the summer involving art, food and folk music, as well as a regatta and the Otillo swimrun world championship qualifying race.
Scilly is also a fantastic location for wildlife tourism, particularly bird watching and as a place from which to take a boat to spot some of our bigger marine animals.
The massive influx of tourists is an important source of income to the islands though it also creates problems. The issue of water supply has had to be addressed and waste must be dealt with, by shipping it out to the mainland.
Also, not all tourist income stays on the islands. Holiday lets are often owned by mainlanders, as second homes. Consequently, house prices are very expensive and local people can’t afford to buy.
However, with tourism providing about 85% of the income of the Scilly Isles, it is important to maintain their popularity as a destination and to extend the season for as long as possible. Without tourists the islands would die.