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More Homestay accommodation needed for TT 19 January 2012

Isle of Man Tourism is appealing to residents to apply to register their homes for the Homestay scheme and help host the thousands of visitors who will visit for the TT Festival this year.

The Department has sent out registration forms to home owners who have previously registered for Homestay offering them the opportunity to register for the scheme again this year. However, more homes are required due to increased demand, which is believed to be partly as a result of the TT3D film ‘Closer to the Edge’. The film enjoyed a hugely successful theatrical run in 2011 and now ranks as one of the top 10 performing documentaries at the UK Box Office. Numbers for TT 2012 show a 10% increase and bookings for 2013 are already well under way.

Householders considering offering Homestay accommodation for TT are urged to express their interest in becoming registered with the Department as soon as possible to help to meet the ever-increasing demand and enable visitors to secure their bookings early. The registration fee is only £15.00 and householders are exempt from tax on up to £1500 of earnings from paying visitors.

Homestay can be offered during TT for any number of nights between 26th May and 10th June. Last year the Department registered over 700 properties. The closing date for applications is Monday 30th April 2012.

Geoff Corkish MBE, MHK, the Department of Economic Development’s Political Member with responsibility for Tourism said:

"The Department’s Tourism Quality and Service team would like to hear from more Isle of Man residents who are willing to be ambassadors for the Island and host our TT visitors. As well as providing accommodation, Homestay is a great opportunity for guests from all over the world to learn more about the culture of our Island and share our way of life."
"Due to the numerous enquiries we are receiving and expectation of a particularly busy year, if people are considering offering accommodation it would be helpful if they could contact us as soon as possible. I’d like to thank everybody who has opened their homes in previous years and ask them to consider continuing their support this year to ensure our TT visitors are satisfactorily accommodated."

Mr Corkish went on to say:

"TT 2012 is expected to be a bumper festival on the Isle of Man so please apply to register now and help us to make it a great success."

Colin Kniveton, Chief Executive for the Department of Economic Development said:

"Whilst the Department has made great progress in increasing Homestay availability we still wish to see more people open up their homes in order to provide accommodation for the many motorcycle fans visiting this year. Homestay is a great way for Manx residents to make a little extra money whilst it benefits those who otherwise would not be able to visit."
"I would urge anyone who wants to know more about Homestay to contact the Tourism Quality and Service team who will be very pleased to discuss the process with them."

For further information please download the Guidance Notes from www.visitisleofman.com/homestay. If you feel you meet the criteria and would like to register for the Homestay scheme please call the Homestay team on 686802 or email homestay@gov.im.

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