The number of people visiting the Isle of Man TT races reached its highest level for a decade, a government survey has found.

More than 46,000 people travelled to the island during the period, up 4% on 2018, with the number of repeat visitors rising slightly to 65%.

Enterprise minister Laurence Skelly said the figures showed “the enduring popularity of the event”.

The annual motorcycling event took place between 25 May and 7 June.

There is now a need to invest in new features and developments including “all-weather entertainment and year-round attractions”, Mr Skelly added.

The annual survey showed more than two-thirds of TT visitors travelled to the island by ferry for the 2019 event.

The number travelling from England, accounting for almost 58% of TT visitors, fell by more than 6% on the previous year, but more people arrived from Germany and France (both up 4.5%).

2020 forecast ‘higher’

While the total spend across the fortnight increased from £37.1m to £37.5m, the amount spent per head fell by £85 to £801.

The direct benefit to the Manx government remained unchanged from the previous year at £4.8m.

A total £7.8m was spent on accommodation, which included a 2% rise in the number of people camping and a 1% fall in those using the government’s homestay scheme.

A spokesman for VisitIOM, one of the event’s official travel partners, said it had seen a “healthy increase” in bookings this year including an increased demand for “glamping sites”.

The firm had already seen a “higher volume of enquiries and bookings for TT 2020,” she said, adding: “We forecast our figures will be even higher next year.”

Source: bbc.com