The Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling has shown significant growth for the second consecutive year following the decision to rebrand the event in 2012. The event now contributes over £6million to the local economy and £1million in Exchequer benefit. The Isle of Man Treasury are scheduled to carry out a further economic study during the 2015 Festival.
Visitor numbers and revenue from sponsorship, event and grandstand ticket sales, corporate hospitality, trade sites and other commercial revenue generating activity have all shown significant year-on-year increases.
David Cretney, MHK, Political member with responsibility for Motorsport and Tourism, commented:
‘Commercial income and visitors numbers, with their contribution to the local economy, are the only way that we can justify investing public funds on an event. These encouraging figures are an effective benchmark of the success of the rebranded event and, combined with increased media interest, give us a platform to build on to secure the event's long term future and deliver a tangible return on the investment.’
For the 2014 event, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company reported an 11% increase in motorcycles travelling on the ferry for this year's festival compared with the corresponding fortnight last year. Passenger numbers were also up on 2013, by 1,100 to 29,460 – the highest number for this fortnight in more than a decade.
The total of 3697 motorcycles by the Steam Packet carried represents the highest figure since 1993, when The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company began recording comparable data. The company reported a further increase of almost 4% in passengers while the number of cars and vans travelling to the island also grew.
The Isle of Man Airport Authority has reported an increase of almost 12% this year in the number of inbound and outbound passengers through Ronaldsway Airport during the festival fortnight, following on from a similar increase of over 11% for the inaugural event in 2013.
The Festival of Motorcycling event consists of the Classic TT presented by Bennetts, the IMGold Manx Grand Prix Races, the Classic and Two Day Trials and the Vintage Motorcycle Club Rally including their Festival of Jurby.
The Classic TT commercial programme run by the Department of Economic Development's Motorsport team has seen new sponsors Dunlop, Vauxhall, and VP Fuels join the existing portfolio of commercial partners while the Manx Motor Cycle Club secured a title sponsor, IMGold, for the first time in the event's 93 year history as well as further sponsorship for the Senior Manx Grand Prix from local company Full Factory Winners Wear.
The Glencrutchery Road Grandstand sold out all tickets on both Classic TT Race days while the Department's hospitality programme, which also ran on both race days, entertained over 600 guests, generated additional income streams.
The official event programme and retail trade site inventory posted record sales while special events including the Classic TT Party, Classic TT Legends Dinner in association with RST, the Classic Racer Magazine Lap of Honour and the MGP Reunion Lap all provided additional income to offset the costs of staging the Festival and reduce the public funds required to stage the event.