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Increase in Leisure Visitors 5 February 2008

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is pleased to announce Passenger Survey figures compiled by the Economic Affairs Division of the Treasury for 2007. The figures show leisure visitors of 247,810, an additional 30,000 on the 2006 figure. Total visitor numbers including business and day visitors increased from 306590 to 324137, an increase of 5.7%.

Whilst these figures incorporate the Centenary TT figures, it is encouraging to note leisure visitor figures were up all year and particularly in both the third and fourth quarters. Sea borne arrivals increased every month of the year and overall showed growth of 11%, a large part of this due to the growing rural self catering market, where we had 41 new providers in 2007 all at 4* or above level. Whilst arrivals by air were disappointing, the year ended on an optimistic note following the return of the Luton air route – illustrated by the improved arrival figures in December. DTL is working closely with colleagues at DOT to ensure we maximise all inbound visitor leisure opportunities.

2007’s award winning “Set Yourself Free” Ad campaign has grown awareness levels of the Island and attracted new arrivals and by building on the success of key Tourism events last year there is an optimistic outlook for the industry. Newly registered properties have given the visitor more choice and an increasing quality portfolio of accommodation and restaurants is meeting the demands of today’s modern visitor.

Leisure visitor figures for October to December were up by 6%, however, the more satisfying results were those for July to September where this sector increased from 91,006 in 2006 to 97,812 also an increase of 6%.

Adrian Earnshaw, Minister for the Department of Tourism and Leisure, explained:

‘The Political team and senior officers within the Department are working hard to build effective working relationships with the industry and this gives a good foundation for the development of Tourism on the Isle of Man. Although 2007 was an important year for motorsport events on the Island I am personally encouraged by the overall visitor growth achieved throughout 2007 and especially towards the year end. There is more work to be done extending the visitor season and better use of our tourism assets and diversification of our efforts is a strategy I intend to build on during my time at DTL.’

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