This year’s Centenary Isle of Man TT races delivered record revenue to the Isle of Man economy, outstripping even the most optimistic pre-event predictions.
New figures released today (Friday) by the Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure show the 60,000 visitors spent an estimated £800 per head, contributing around £48,000,000 to the Manx economy.
13,800 of those visitors, 23 per cent of the overall figure, were first time visitors to the Isle of Man and further research conducted discovered around 82 per cent of the visitors were male with 74 per cent under 50 and 20 per cent under 35.
And in an effort to attract younger race fans, the Department of Tourism and Leisure have actively begun a programme of promoting the Isle of Man TT to a youthful audience.
This will be led with an advertising campaign featuring the ‘TT Young Guns’, including up and coming Isle of Man rider Conor Cummins.
For many of the visitors riding the course was their favourite part of the event, with 90 per cent claiming this was their highlight. The overall TT experience was rated good or excellent by 87 per cent of fans, with over 80 per cent of the 60,000 saying they definitely planned to visit again, figures backed up by the increased bookings for TT2008.
Evidence of this is already there with increased bookings for the Isle of Man TT 2008 which are around 35 per cent at this time on an average year.
The commercial management and licensing programme run by sponsorship agency Signature Sponsorship Isle of Man Ltd, has also delivered a significant return on investment to the event, funds which are ploughed back into the developing safety features and training.
The Isle of Man TT 2007 delivered a 350 per cent increase from commercial contracts compared with the previous year, with 35 per cent of that revenue coming from sponsorship.
The new brand identity proved popular with commercial partners and all of the races in 2007 were sponsored, with leading UK bike insurance company Bennetts taking the title sponsorship.
Negotiations on the 2008 races are currently underway with many sponsors expected to renew their contracts.
The 2007 Isle of Man TT was also of huge interest to the world’s media.
An estimated £4million worth of coverage was delivered globally in press alone with features in national newspapers worldwide including over £1.2m worth of coverage from UK national newspapers.
The Isle of Man TT, filmed by Tromode based company Greenlight who have the exclusive licence, was broadcast to a global audience of almost 700 million homes worldwide.
It was shown on BBC Grandstand to 1,000,000 viewers, while ITV 4 ran 10.5 hours of programming, not including repeats.
There was also a major feature on BBC Breakfast news, with the BBC’s Chris Hollins experiencing a pillion ride around the course from local former TT winner Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle.
Milky also took BBC Radio 4 around the course as part of an hour long programme broadcast live from the Island. In total, the Isle of Man TT received more than 5000 minutes (84 hours) of coverage worldwide, not including repeats.
The Department of Tourism and Leisure are now busy advancing plans for 2008 and beyond to ensure the long term quality, professionalism and safety in line with 21st Century expectations is delivered.
Adrian Earnshaw MHK, Minister for Tourism and Leisure commented: “I am delighted with what has been achieved in 2007 and look forward to seeing more new teams, high profile riders lining up in 2008.
“The TT is very much on the up and we are working with our partners and the motorcycle industry to successfully launch the event into its second century in June.”