Visit Isle of Man has announced that it saw a positive surge in visitor figures achieved during 2023.

In 2023, it was recorded that the island welcomed 318,000 visitors who contributed £183.2 million revenue in visitor spend, exceeding targets by 18,000 and £21.8m respectively.

Last year also saw the island’s serviced accommodation occupancy figures bypass 2019’s figures by 9% and 5% for self-catering accommodation, demonstrating a robust recovery from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson from Visit Isle of Man said: ‘This marks a significant milestone in the resurgence of travel and tourism and solidifying the Isle of Man’s position as a must-visit destination for visitors worldwide.

‘As Visit Isle of Man celebrates the remarkable achievements of 2023, the visit agency remains committed to promoting the island’s unique offering and fostering a vibrant tourism landscape.’

The visitor figures for 2023 are calculated using data sourced from comprehensive passenger surveys, and cross-referenced against air and sea travel statistics.

The total visitor numbers and spend are inclusive of cruise passenger figures, which are quantified on-island and using ‘Cruise Britain’ methodology.

Deborah Heather, CEO of Visit Isle of Man, attributes these figures to the strategic ‘noise’ campaign implemented by the Visit Isle of Man team throughout the year.

She said: ‘Upon joining Visit Isle of Man in April 2023, it became evident that our market penetration needed enhancing to attract tourists more effectively.

‘We focused on amplifying our presence through extensive PR and social media initiatives, positioning the island as a unique and interesting destination.

‘We’re into the second year of our ten-year visitor economy strategy “Our Island, Our Future”, and these exceptional figures are testament to the progress made within the strategy - reaffirming our commitment to achieving our target of 500,000 annual visitors by 2032.’

Visit Isle of Man board member and managing director of Island Escapes, John Keggin, said: ‘This remarkable achievement not only demonstrates the resilience of the island’s tourism industry but also signals a promising revival following the challenges posed by the pandemic.

‘At Island Escapes we’ve seen a significant increase in bookings compared to last year, with 2023 being a strong year in itself.

‘This surge in bookings not only indicates a robust demand but reflects a growing confidence among visitors in the island’s appeal as a destination of choice for 2024 and beyond.’

Daphne Caine MHK added: ‘I attribute the welcome growth in visitor numbers to the hard work and entrepreneurship of our accommodation, attraction and activity providers, food and drink establishments and producers, and everyone else who provides a great experience for our visitors.’