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Fast Recovery for Tourism 8 September 2004

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is delighted to announce that tourism revenue has recovered quicker than forecast following the foot and mouth impact three years ago.

Measures were taken in 2001 which successfully prevented the disease reaching the Isle of Man but the tourism sector was badly hit. Most of the countryside remained closed to walkers while the TT and Manx Grand Prix were also cancelled.

Following the Foot and Mouth crisis, the Department set a target to recover over three years in terms of visitor numbers and expenditure. However, figures provided by the Economic Affairs Division of Treasury reveal that the recovery was achieved in two, rather than three years. Visitor expenditure for 2003 totalled £102.5 million, an increase of 3.9% in real terms over the year 2000.

Director of Tourism Geoff Le Page said:

"I am delighted that the marketing campaign to attract higher spend visitors throughout the year has proved successful. Visitor numbers last year almost matched those of 2000 and expenditure was one per cent ahead of target with a year still to run of our three-year recovery plan."

Tourism Minister David Cretney commented:

"In 2001 I stated that it was likely it would take three years to recover from the aftermath of the foot and mouth outbreak in the UK, and that it would take much hard work. Whilst there is still a difficult time ahead, our targeted marketing approach appears to have paid dividends and our work in areas such as conference marketing and in attracting new events like the walking festival will continue to improve visitor numbers and expenditure."

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