Drop in number of visitors to Isle of Man

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The total number of visitors to the Isle of Man fell for the second year in a row in 2013.

But despite cutbacks in air routes, it was a good year for air travel, with an increase in passenger departures.

The statistics have been released by Treasury’s Economic Affairs Division in the Passenger Survey Annual Report 2013.

The report shows the number of visitors to the island last year was 290,754, compared with 294,460 in 2012 and 299,778 in 2011.

Visitor numbers were down on 2012 figures in the first and third quarters while in May and June – which includes the TT Races – there was a rise by more than 4,000 to 82,471, and from October to December there was an increase of over 1,800 to 45,931.

More than a third (34.6 per cent) of visitors came from the North West of England, 16.2 per cent from the South East of England and 12.9 per cent from the Midlands. Seven per cent came from outside the UK/Eire.

People staying in paid for accommodation made up the biggest proportion of visitors (38.5 per cent), followed by people staying with friends and relatives (37 per cent), and business visitors (22.8 per cent).

Their total expenditure – including travel, accommodation and purchases while here – was £106.8m, an average of £367 per visit. It’s an increase on 2012, when total expenditure was just over £103m, an average of £351 per visit.

Visitors’ average length of stay (excluding day visits) was an estimated 5.1 nights.

Meanwhile, total scheduled passenger departures rose by 1.8 per cent over the year, from 630,087 in 2012 to 641,219 in 2013.

This was due to increased numbers travelling by air, which was 5.5 per cent up over the year.

Passenger traffic by sea fell by 2.9 per cent over the same period.

Residents went on a total of 350, 365 visits during the year, 61.3 per cent of which involved leaving the island by air.

Business trips accounted for 12.2 per cent (42,754) of the visits.

The North-West of England was the destination for 38.5 per cent of residents leaving the island, while 20.6 per cent were travelling to outside the British Isles.

The average length of stay for residents travelling off-island (excluding those returning the same day) was seven nights.

The survey has been running continuously since its launch in 1985.

Staff from Treasury’s Economic Affairs division interview departing passengers at Douglas Harbour and Ronaldsway Airport.

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