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Tourism support to boost marketing of Whale Watching holidays 30 March 2007

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is working closely with the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch society to facilitate a new marketing initiative.

In 2006, 1700 whales and dolphins were sighted around the Island and were recorded on the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch website. The society is now planning to charter a boat to carry out the research and scientific surveys required to establish the range and numbers of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Manx waters.

Director of the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch society John Galpin said:

‘The Society is delighted with the interest shown by the Department of Tourism and Leisure in this project. Since 1995 I have been working to show the importance of whales and dolphins to the Isle of Man in conservation and tourism, and the Island, with its clear waters, is becoming recognised as a great destination to view these animals.’

Tourism and Leisure Minister Adrian Earnshaw said:

‘The Department is looking to open up new markets such as whale watching, as a tourism opportunity for the Island, and it is hoped our support will raise the project’s profile.’

2007 is the Year of the Dolphin, and to celebrate the Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure has launched a sea life spotting competition asking for photographs, or short video clips, of any sea life observed around the Isle of Man. They are especially looking for whales, sharks and dolphins and the photographer of the best image will win a meal for two people at their favourite restaurant.

Further information on whale and dolphin watching can be found on the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch website www.mwdw.net or contact John Galpin on 844353.

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