A  recent survey has shown that visitor numbers for the Isle of Man TT Races are on course to return to peak levels ahead of the post pandemic global travel trends, with 2023 seeing over 43,000 visitors make the voyage to witness the world’s most famous road race.

The survey was carried out by Tourism South East as part of a wider contract in place with Visit Isle of Man.

The primary reason for the survey is to calculate the essential contribution the Isle of Man TT Races makes to the Manx Economy as well as offering key insights into visitor behaviours.

TT 2023 took place from Monday May 29 until Saturday, June 10 and resulted in a total of 261,053 bed nights with 6 nights being the average length opted for by visitors.

According to the recent survey the 2023 event generated a total spend of £36.1million within the Island’s economy with the average spend per head increasing from £801 in 2019 to £834. 

Amongst others, one of the key insights into visitor behaviours that can be taken from the survey is a heightened demand for air travel, with the results showing a 30.6% increase in comparison with 2019.

The type of accommodation selected whilst staying in the Isle of Man also showed some changes with a 4.5% increase in visitors that stayed in a Hotel/Guesthouse as well as a 6.8% increase in the number of visitors that stayed with friends or relatives.

Meanwhile, although there was a slight decrease in the number of visitors that opted to camp for the duration of their trip, camping remains the preferred accommodation choice for just under a third of all visitors.

The 2023 survey gives spotlight to the strength of the Island as a tourist destination with 98.2% of visitors surveyed stating that their trip to the Isle of Man had met or exceeded their expectations. The survey also highlighted the adventurous nature of visitors to the Isle of Man TT Races with nearly 60% of respondents having participated in an outdoor activity during their visit.

Additionally, there was a strong interest in the Island’s cultural offering as 21.2% of visitors had been on the Heritage Railways and 20.2% had visited a Manx National Heritage site.

Tim Johnston MHK, Minister for the Department for Enterprise said: 'The Isle of Man TT Races is not only an essential part of the Island’s heritage, it provides a vital source of income for our businesses and the wider economy. Therefore it is incredibly positive to see visitor numbers for the TT continuing to return to pre-pandemic levels despite the economic challenges that so many people have faced around the world. 

'As part of the TT’s overarching strategy focussed on ensuring the long term sustainability of the event, this year saw the introduction of a new schedule designed to create further travel opportunities for visiting fans and maximise existing capacity. The continued adoption of this schedule combined with the additional ferry capacity and the benefits brought by the Digital Broadcast Strategy such as increased global accessibility of the event via live coverage and the rapidly growing digital audience, provide great optimism for sustained growth in visitor numbers for TT 2024 and beyond.'