The Isle of Man has been named ‘Best Coach Destination of the Year’ at the National Coach Tourism Awards held in Blackpool.
Department of Economic Development’s head of tourism Angela Byrne collected the award on behalf of both the department and the island’s tourism industry.
In 2013 the Isle of Man attracted 306 individual coach groups, equating to 10,710 passengers from a variety of locations across Britain and Ireland.
Edmund Southworth, director of Manx National Heritage, said: ‘We were delighted to hear that the partnership working between Isle of Man Tourism, accommodation providers, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Heritage Railways, the island’s visitor attractions and ourselves has succeeded in delivering what the coach operators and their customers want from their holiday destination, and that this has been acknowledged and endorsed with this award.
‘Working together to extend the season to meet the needs of the groups’ market and responding to feedback from the coach operators and group organisers about their particular needs in respect of group travel, visits and accommodation has clearly paid off for the island.
‘Most of the groups visiting the island visit one or more MNH sites during their stay.
‘MNH has helped facilitate new initiatives to bring group travel organisers to the Isle of Man and helped maintain a relationship with them through attendance at travel trade events in the UK. Many of the coach companies now visiting the island are delivering new business for the Manx “visitor economy”.’
David Cretney MHK, the political member with responsibility for tourism, said: ‘I am thrilled that the island has won this award which recognises the efforts that Angela, the tourism team and our wonderful local partners in the visitor economy have put in to make the Isle of Man a high quality destination for coach parties.
‘The Steam Packet, Manx National Heritage, our accommodation providers and those who operate our many attractions are key as to why the island has won this award.
‘The Isle of Man is an ideal destination for visiting coach groups due to the variety of attractions on offer along with an abundance of quality accommodation suitable for groups.
‘Groups travel is one of the priority segments we target as part of our current visitor economy strategy and we are continuing to build relationships with coach travel operators to increase this market further.’
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