Visitor Product Audit and Recommendations for the Isle of Man

‘There’s nothing odd about the Isle of Man’ Lonely Planet tells us; ‘it just likes to do its own thing’. We were therefore very happy to be chosen as the destination consultancy to work with the Isle of Man Government to assess what that ‘thing’ should be to grow the value of the visitor economy on the UNESCO-designated island biosphere in the middle of the Irish Sea.

For years the Isle of Man has attracted and retained a loyal visitor-base; a traditionalist traveller who, coupled with those visiting friends and relatives, has made up the majority of the island’s annual overall visitor numbers.  A strong, and somewhat quirky, heritage and culture visitor offer has appealed to these visitors and kept them returning year-on-year.

But, following the launch of a new visitor economy strategy in early 2020 with ambitious 10-year growth targets of 500,000 visitors per year by 2030 (circa 300,000 in 2019), the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Enterprise needed some clarity in where their future visitor product development efforts should lie and who their target markets should be.

We worked closely with members of the Visit Isle of Man Team, Board and key on-island stakeholders to conduct a visitor product audit, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the current visitor offer and the collective ambition of the island.

We underpinned our stakeholder consultation with a desk-based audit of current visitor products, market trends research – particularly in light of Covid-19 – and comparator performance.

Following our analysis of the visitor product audit, we formed a prioritised set of recommendations. We gave associated costs, return on investment potential and a timeline for implementation to enable the Visit Isle of Man Team to capitalise on the island’s unique strengths around its landscape and natural environment and position itself as a must-visit contemporary outdoor activity destination for the Explorer and Experience market segments.



"An island in a sea of opportunity"
Ranald Caldwell, Non-Executive Chairman, Visit Isle of Man