Visit Isle of Man outlines direction for sustainable visitor economy growth

06 April 2022

Visit Isle of Man, an Executive Agency within the Department for Enterprise, has outlined its ten-year strategic plan inside its draft Visitor Economy Strategy – ‘Our Island, Our Future’ – which is due to be laid before Tynwald in May.

‘Our Island, Our Future’ is the first Visitor Economy Strategy to be laid before Tynwald since 2004, and has been written by the Visit Agency in partnership with the Island’s visitor economy sector and Government departments, agencies and other organisations. It is the culmination of a comprehensive programme of market research and consultancy studies which have consistently shown great potential for growth in the Island’s visitor economy.

Along with its headline target of growing annual visitor numbers to 500,000, with a subsequent economic contribution of £520m, by 2032, the Visit Agency is also aiming to increase the average spend per visitor, driven by strong growth in a longer staying and high spending leisure market. It predicts this should result in a more than doubling of annual visitor spending on the Island to £310m, which will support an increase in visitor economy jobs to 5,000 and generate an annual exchequer benefit of £49m.

Designed to provide a clear way forward for fully capitalising on identified opportunities, the draft strategy provides the context and mandate for the work of the Visit Agency as well as outlining the investment support required for visitor economy growth. All of which are aligned with the Isle of Man Government’s ‘Our Island Plan’ objective of building a secure, vibrant and sustainable future for the Island.

Rob Callister MHK, Political Member with responsibility for Tourism and Motorsport, commented:

“Our Island, Our Future’ articulates an ambitious vision for substantial visitor economy growth over the next ten years, something our research shows is achievable if we maximise partnerships with local visitor economy businesses, travel and group trade, and online travel agents.

‘The Visit Agency continues to play a fundamental role in supporting the future prosperity of the Island’s existing and new visitor economy businesses. I have no doubt that through the guidance and support from some of the most experienced and influential members of the tourism economy on our Agency Board, we will be able to successfully transform the Island’s visitor offering and position it as a premier destination in the UK and Ireland short break market.’

The Visit Agency acknowledges that growth in the visitor economy must not be at the expense of the Island’s natural environment and communities or contribute to climate change. The draft strategy will enable an action programme to create a zero-carbon visitor economy by focusing on environmentally sustainable visitor activity, business operations and development projects. As such, the draft strategy outlines a clear pathway for achieving this vision of sustainable visitor economy growth through to 2032, and a common agenda for Government and all visitor economy partners to support, in order to secure the considerable benefits that can be achieved for the Island.

The draft strategy can be viewed at: