Following the visit of 50 travel writers to the Isle of Man earlier this month, the island’s produce has already started to be complimented in national and regional publications.

Visit Isle of Man recently hosted over 50 members of the British Guild of Travel Writers, the UK’s leading association for travel media professionals, for their annual general meeting.

And it says spending £50,000 on bringing them to the island could be worth over £1 million of equivalent advertising spend.

Throughout their four days on the island the writers were treated to trips out on the railways, to heritage spots like the Laxey Wheel and dined out at of the island’s hospitality businesses.

And various national and regional publications are beginning to print stories about different landmarks across the island, as well as highlighting the island’s food and drinks.

The National Newspaper, Scotland’s only pro-independent newspaper, has published a piece describing the island as ‘fiercely independent’.

Robin McKelvie, travel writer for the National Newspaper, looked at the similarities between the Isle of Man and Scotland, as well as praising the island’s produce.

Describing his visit, he said he ‘instantly felt at home with the hotel’s golf course and views of the Hills’, comparing it to Dumfries and Galloway just across the water.

He continued: ‘That proximity to Scotland means this self-governing Crown Dependency has a history intertwined with our larger nation (Scotland).

‘Robert the Bruce once laid siege to Castle Rushen and then the Dukes of Atholl held sway over the whole island. There are even suggestions the distinctive three-legged Manx flag comes from a Scottish king inspired by a similar Sicilian design. And Manx is, of course, related to Scottish Gaelic.’

He visited The Fynoderee Distillery in Ramsey and tried the Biosphere Burger. Mr McKelvie was impressed, especially that it was entirely 100% Manx, from the yeast-free bun to the beef and even the relish.

It wasn’t just the food that was complimented, with him praising the craft beer selection too.

He said: ‘The Manx may be unable to spell whisky, but there is nothing wrong with their excellent craft beers, thanks to a purity act similar to Germany’s beer laws.’

Meeting Kevin Holmes from Okell’s, Mr McKelvie was impressed with the passion for the island’s beers, and learnt that Okell’s ‘make what we want to drink and do what we want to do, not what London says’.

Along with The National Newspaper, Martin Hesp of Hesp Food and Travel wrote about his experiences, featuring the iconic Laxey Wheel heavily.

He described the island as ‘magnificent’.

‘It is a self-governing British Crown dependency that boasts fabulous rugged coastlines, vast rural landscapes, wild moorlands, a surprising number of medieval castles, and much else’, he said.

Visit Isle of Man, an agency for the Department of Enterprise, has said it was a strategic move to host the Guild’s AGM In the island to build momentum gained from the Agency’s successful PR outcomes achieved in 2023.

The Guild, having previously visited destinations such as Malta, Tenerife, South Carolina and Poland, celebrated its 64th year in the island this year.

And while on the island, members of the Guild also attended the launch event of the ‘Manx Menu’ campaign at Cycle 360.

This is a joint collaboration between Business Isle of Man and Visit Isle of Man that aims to ‘celebrate the diverse and innovative ecosystem of local food and drink businesses and producers’.