Manx Independent letters, July 31, 2014

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So little to do during holiday

I was in a party of tourists who returned from the Isle of Man on July 11 after staying in the Ramsey Park Hotel in Ramsey for six days.

It was some time since my wife and I visited your beautiful island and we were looking forward to this holiday, organised by Mrs Rosemary Southern (whose letter has appeared in the Manx Independent on July 17).

We were most surprised to find the considerable changes since our last visit and the fact that in all the towns on the island there were quite a number of shops etc closed.

In fact, there was little to do during the holiday but to tour the towns and villages.

It seems, after discussing this with a number of residents and shopkeepers, that the tourism department appear not to be interested in tourists other than those which the TT races attract.

Our party experienced the lack of assistance available when asking for leaflets describing the island’s undoubted wonderful history and heritage for when asking for packs to be sent to our hotel both before and after our arrival we were told that these could not be delivered but that we would have to collect them from Douglas – 40 minutes drive away!

Also, with a few exceptions, at places we visited, they did not provide a warm welcome and we were told in no uncertain terms what they thought of the minister responsible for tourism and his staff.

It seems that the Isle of Man Government are little interested in anything other than matters concerning the financial community (i.e. investors, insurance etc) This is a terrible shame since the Island has much to offer visitors other than ‘bikers’.

There is so much that could be offered in terms of the history, folklore and beautiful scenery which the Island provides and the failure of the responsible minister and tourism staff to ‘put themselves out’ is one reason why we shall not (regrettably) be visiting the Isle of Man again. I suspect that there are others in our party who will be similarly inclined!

Robert Taylor, Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Editor’s note: Isle of Man Newspapers provides a free, comprehensive What’s On guide for visitors. Any outlet that would like them, or which has run out of them, should ring us on 695695 and we’ll deliver them to you.

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Way to highlight visitor info

Responding to the letter from Rosemary Southern (Independent, July 17) who led a group of 30 on a recent visit to the island and experienced difficulties in obtaining visitor information, can I please highlight information that will be of benefit to all those involved in trying to ensure that our visitors are well looked after and enjoy their stay.

The most convenient place for visitors to browse and pick up ‘tourist information’ leaflets is often in the accommodation where they have chosen to stay.

DED Tourism have recognised this and have actually done quite a lot of excellent work to facilitate this by setting up a centralised, on-line visitor information distribution system which is currently administered by Bridson and Horrox. This was launched last year and will be of particular interest to accommodation providers (ie hotels, B& B and self catering property owners) but can also be used by any business or individual who has the space to display some literature.

The system just requires a simple registration to set up an account with a login which then gives access to a wide range of leaflets etc which can be viewed and ordered online and then delivered direct to the account holder’s address.

Although it is not yet fully comprehensive, it is a very easy means by which accommodation providers can maintain stocks of things like the brilliant ‘One Stop Guide’, maps, MNH and Railways information, without even leaving home.

I would encourage all accommodation providers in particular to use this system so that the availability of visitor information is extended as far as possible. To join the system please contact Bridson and Horrox via e-mail to Isabella Kelly-Moor, phone 663311 Ext 104) or Helen McArd(663311 Ext. #103).

Sara Richards, Chair of Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee and Isle of Man Self Catering Owners Association, Ballacamaish Farm Cottages, Kiondroghad Road, Andreas

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Work for, not on, the people . . .

Oh dear, just when you think you’ve got the next holiday planned with a nice scenic trip to the Space Station they’ve pulled the plug! (Space tourism plan is aborted, Manx Independent last week).

Mind you, we would have had to take off from Jurby as we couldn’t afford the Steam Packet fare as well.

Now I don’t know if any taxpayers’ hard-earned cash was put towards this scheme, but I remember the five million we donated towards the Jurby Airship Company, I thought that would have been a surefire winner.

Mind you, the biggest black hole for taxpayers at the moment must be the Iris scheme, that is a beauty. We seem to be spending more on that than Ian Longworth in a Mercedes bus dealership.

To be fair to the government though, and in the interests of a balanced letter, the government has done its best to cut down expenditure. It has made my wife’s pension payable at 66 rather than 60, so that’s saved them around 50 grand.

I now have to pay for my prescriptions again after a brief flirt with getting free ones. They have cut my mortgage tax relief in half, and frozen wages, except for themselves of course.

Come on guys, give us a break, start earning your wages, lets start with a few ground rules for entering the ‘House’.

One, you need a very good education, two you promise to never avoid answering a straight question and third, you have to have a backbone.

Start working for the people, not on them!

A Local.

Name and address supplied

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My lost dinghy

I unfortunately lost a small 10 foot Walker Bay dinghy from Cloughey Bay, Co Down in the wee hours of Monday morning.

I suspect from the direction of the wind, it may have headed toward the Isle of Man.

It is white with grey inflatable edges. I have attached a photo of it with my daugher, niece and nephew.

Would it be possible to ask your readers who walk on your shores and Manx sailors to watch out for my wee boat? I am happy to offer a cash reward to the finder.

Patrick Magennis, County Down

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