26th March 2012
Department of Economic Development concludes Manx Grand Prix Festival review
The Department of Economic Development has concluded its consultative review into the Manx Grand Prix Festival and will now consider how to act on the findings, working with a variety of the partner associations to develop the format and promotion of the Festival, based on the research.
The study, which commenced in January 2012, included a series of focus groups with representatives from the motorcycle industry, event organisers, the media, local businesses, the hospitality industry and other relevant partners associated with the existing event. Two public on-line surveys also formed part of the consultation, targeting both groups of people who were aware of the event and groups who were not.
The consultation was structured to establish the level of awareness and perception of the existing Manx Grand Prix Festival, reviewing the positive and negative aspects of the current Festival as well as identifying motorsport market trends and potential new markets.
The analysis of the primary research and focus groups, combined with the financial study revealed that the Festival has growth potential but the overwhelming view arising from the review is that it needs to change. A clear opportunity was identified for the potential to exploit the current strength of the TT brand, with the TT being highly ranked compared with other off-island motorsport events, while nostalgia, classic racing and heritage were also reported as potential opportunities for further development of the Manx Grand Prix Festival.
The study also showed that the event has a loyal fan base with over half of the visitors reported as coming for more than 10 years and half being directly involved with racing or event organisation. The positive atmosphere of the event, heritage attractions and visiting friends and family all scored highly as factors that influenced attendance.
Colin Kniveton, Chief Executive Officer, Department of Economic Development, commented:
"The review of the Festival costs and economic contribution made it clear that we must consider changes to the existing event to generate more commercial income from, and visitors to, the Manx Grand Prix Festival to ensure its long term viability. The research has indicated a clear way forward for us to evolve the event, based on strong market feedback and we now need to collaborate with our event partners on the changes required."
The 2012 Manx Grand Prix Festival, which runs from 18th August to 2nd September 2012, will remain unchanged and will run as scheduled. Any revision to the programme for the 2013 event will be announced prior to TT 2012.
Download the MGP Festival Consultative Review preliminary findings.