it’s been a bumper tt

The ITV4 team at the launch of the programme

The ITV4 team at the launch of the programme

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It’s been a bumper TT!

Figures from the Steam Packet Company and the airport show that visitor numbers were up.

Campsites have reported visitors arriving earlier than in previous years – and were forced to turn away customers months in advance as they were already full.

The Steam Packet saw a 7.5 per cent rise on 2013 in the number of motorbikes it carried.

From May 21 to today, it will have carried 12,050 motorbikes and 36,800 passengers to the island.

It’s the busiest festival for the Steam Packet since the centenary in 2007.

Chief executive Mark Woodward said: ‘This marks yet another year of growth for the TT and the figures are evidence of the TT’s continued attraction for motorcycling race fans.

Meanwhile, ports director Ann Reynolds said Ronaldsway had seen about a 5 per cent increase in passengers.

Douglas Rugby Club has operated a campsite at its grounds at Port-e-Chee during TT for 10 years.

Campsite manager Martin Higgins said: ‘I can’t remember being this busy, we’ve had an absolutely tremendous year’

The campsite is licensed to accommodate 350 tents.

Mr Higgins said it had been ‘absolutely chocka’, with visitors filling empty pitches as soon as they were vacated.

He attributed the success to ITV4’s coverage of the event.

‘I can only put it down to ITV4. It’s reaching out to a wider audience. We always have die-hard fans and now we have a wider customer base.’

It’s the third year a campsite has operated at Silly Moos, at Ballakillingan Farm, in Churchtown, Ramsey.

Fiona Brumby said: ‘I knew before we got to the TT it was going to be busy from the number of people calling up.

‘We were turning people away two months beforehand because we were full.

‘We’ve had people desperate on the phone and we’ve had nowhere to send them.’

She said it was noticeable that campers were visiting from a wider range of countries, including the US, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Lithuania.

Bushy’s brewery boss Martin Brunschweiler said TT2014 had been a ‘very good, busy’ year for the beer tent on Douglas seafront.

On the busiest three days – from the Friday of practice week to Mad Sunday – more than 10,000 pints are served at the beer tent.

He thanked Straightliners for ‘pulling out all the stops at short notice’ to bring entertainment to Douglas promenades, adding: ‘A lot of people went beyond the call of duty to make that happen and it was well received.’

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