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Tourism Boost for the Isle of Man Economy 23 July 2009

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is pleased to announce Passenger Survey figures compiled by the Economic Affairs Division of the Treasury for the second quarter of 2009. The figures show 43,169 leisure visitors in paid accommodation, an increase of 6,087 on the 2008 figure. Total visitor numbers, including business, visiting friends/relatives and day visitors, have increased from 83,165 to 98,982, an impressive increase of 19%. This represents a boost to the Island’s economy of £5.2 million.

Following the release of these quarterly figures it is estimated that there were an additional 2,500 visitors to the TT Races in 2009 compared to 2008, with the decline in arrival figures during the TT period being due to fewer residents travelling off the Island. Overall during this quarter resident travel fell by 13.6%.

Hon Martyn Quayle MHK, Minister for the Department of Tourism and Leisure, commented:

‘It is pleasing to note leisure visitor figures are up during this quarter and I am encouraged by the overall visitor growth achieved. A large proportion of this is due to the success of the ‘Island Lives’ TV advertising campaign, a new website and innovative marketing initiatives undertaken by the Department of Tourism and Leisure. There has also been a growth of quality self-catering units which is meeting the demands of today’s discerning visitor.

‘In addition the Department has worked closely with the Island’s carriers and partners to ensure maximisation of all inbound visitor leisure opportunities.

‘This excellent result also needs to be seen in the context of global tourism decreasing by 8% this year and visitor arrivals in to the UK decreasing by 13%.'

The Island has also secured very positive coverage in the United Kingdom press recently including UK publications such as The Daily Mail, The Times, The People, The Independent and Lancashire Evening Post.

The ‘Island Lives’ TV campaign is currently being shown on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky TV and various other TV stations throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland to build further awareness and secure the late booking market.

Mr Quayle went on to say:

‘The Department of Tourism and Leisure remains committed to increasing our positive national identity and diversifying our economy as two of the Government’s key aims and we will continue to strive to attract more visitors to the Isle of Man.‘

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