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Department of Economic Development clarifies costs, visitor numbers and commercial revenue generated by Manx Grand Prix 8 May 2012

The Department of Economic Development has issued a clarification on the costs, visitor numbers and economic benefits generated by the Manx Grand Prix and the TT Races.

Isle of Man Treasury carried out a detailed study of the economic contribution of the Manx Grand Prix (‘MGP Survey 2009’), which revealed that an estimated 8,915 visitors attended the 2009 Manx Grand Prix Festival. The 2010 TT Races attracted 30,787 visitors (ref: Isle of Man Treasury ‘TT Survey 2010’).

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has confirmed that it carried 10,886 motorcycles to the Isle of Man for the TT Festival in 2011, the highest figure since 2002, apart from the Centenary Year in 2007. A further increase of 4% to 11,300 is projected for the 2012 meeting by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, based on current bookings.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has also confirmed that the 2011 Manx Grand Prix Festival attracted 2641 motorcycles, an increase of 1.2% from 2009. However, total arrival figures for both events comprise foot passengers (by sea and air), vans (which can often include motorcycles) and other motor vehicles. As no detailed survey for the MGP was undertaken in 2011, the figures used to provide estimates of income were based upon overall increases in sea and air traffic that were recorded during the relevant period. These were verified by the Economic Affairs Division of the Treasury and used to calculate the figure of £5,992,077 of visitor spend for the MGPF.

Visitor spend should not be confused with income to Government. Actual income to Government arising from visitor spend was estimated by Economic Affairs Division to be approximately £750,000, a figure which includes the recycling of spend within the local economy.*

The review of costs carried out by the Department included only those costs that were directly applicable to the MGP, with all costs that are shared with the TT being charged to the June event. As such, if the TT was not to take place, it is estimated that some £600,000 of additional expenditure would have to be borne by the racing element of the MGP.

Due to this allocation of expenditure, the TT appears significantly more costly than the MGPF. It is estimated that the TT requires in excess of £3 million to stage, compared with the £1.1 million recently identified as the direct costs to Government of staging the MGPF.

However, it is necessary also to look at the incomes generated by the two events. In 2011, the TT races generated a total commercial gross income from sponsorship, licensing, television, ticket sales and hospitality of £1,280,417 with £1,484,500 projected for 2012. The Manx Grand Prix generated a total gross income of £52,069 across the same commercial areas in 2011 with a projected £57,050 for 2012.

In 2011, using data provided by Meltwater News’ Global on-line media monitoring service, the TT Races generated 7,095 articles worldwide and the Manx Grand Prix generated 329. The TT Races also had an international Television audience of an estimated 16,000,000 viewers via North One Television’s UK and international distribution of TT Races programming while the Manx Grand Prix Festival under its current structure does not attract television coverage and previous efforts to produce DVD highlights were discontinued due to poor sales.

Chief Executive of the Department of Economic Development Colin Kniveton commented:

"It is clear when comparing the return on investment from the TT Races and Manx Grand Prix Festival that the MGP currently doesn’t deliver the required level of visitor numbers, media profile or commercial revenue. The purpose of revising the Manx Grand Prix Festival is to create a platform that allows us to increase the visitor numbers, grow the commercial revenue and improve the media profile and we hope to be able to work with the Manx Motor Cycle Club to create an event that meets these objectives and delivers the return on the investment necessary to stage the event."

He continued:

"We are pleased with the response that we have had for the proposed revised Manx Grand Prix Festival from representatives of the local tourism industry, from potential commercial sponsors and the media. Given the responses received, there is every reason to believe that by responding positively to the market research undertaken, income can be generated from this event that will initially balance the books and then go on to make a positive contribution to the challenges now facing the economy."

* The figures for local market economic contribution are based on additional spending generated tax revenues estimated by the Economic Affairs Division of the Treasury. The Economic Affairs Division estimates that the estimated benefit of £750,000 includes £125,000 generated by the further circulation of funds generated by the MGP within the economy.

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