Government encouraging people to sign up to Homestay

By A Reporter   |   IOM Reporter   |
Saturday 29th January 2022 11:00 am
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The enterprise minister has said the Homestay scheme will be relaunched following low uptake from homeowners in the island.

In the House of Keys sitting on Tuesday, Alex Allinson said residents would be encouraged to open their doors to paying guests for TT and the Manx Grand Prix.

He said: ’To date, there has been less properties signing up for Homestay.

’This is for a range of reasons, particularly the ongoing concern and anxiety over Covid over Christmas and I think a lot of people have waited to see what the schedule will be but also what the Covid situation will be before they invite visitors into their own homes.’

Currently, only 450 houses have signed up to the scheme which is down from a pre-pandemic 950.

Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse said that low number of registered Homestay providers ’could have a critical impact’ on the upcoming Manx Grand Prix in August.

This follows the changing of the timetable for the MGP as the event has been cut down to nine days.

Dr Allinson said: ’We’re hoping to relaunch the Homestay scheme, MiQuando [which operates the Homestay scheme on behalf of DfE] posted an advert last week to encourage hosts to register and we will be working with those who haven’t registered yet to encourage them to do so.’

Since then, political member with responsibility for Visit Isle of Man and motorsport Rob Callister has put out a statement encouraging people to sign up, saying: ’As preparations for this year’s TT and Manx Grand Prix are well underway, 2022 is shaping up to be a very busy year for the island’s iconic motorsport events.

’The need for good quality, alternative accommodation during these peak periods is going to be vital as we look to attract more visitors to the races.

’We are always thankful to those who offer Homestay during these peak periods of demand, opening up their homes to help create a unique experience for race fans from all over the world, some of whom have then gone on to become lifelong friends returning year after year.

’I strongly encourage other homeowners who have a spare room, and want to earn some tax-free income, to register your interest as soon as possible.’

Any household looking to offer Homestay during the period must be registered. There are fees of £60 for a new one-year registration or £80 for two years. The fee includes an inspection visit, plus marketing on the official Homestay website www.iomhomestay.com. Hosts will have access to the department’s Public Liability Insurance.

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