The Department of Economic Development recently hosted adventurer Ray Mears and a number of leading UK media as part of the Department’s ongoing campaign to promote the Island as an outdoor, year-round, destination for families.
Laurence Skelly, Minister for the Department of Economic Development, commented:
‘On the Isle of Man, we have some unique wildlife and natural environments. This combined with an incredibly low crime rate, makes the Island a safe and exciting place for families to come and explore the outdoors together. It’s part of our ongoing strategy to promote the Island as a fantastic place for families to visit, encouraging both tourists as well as visiting friends and relatives to explore the natural beauty that the Island has to offer.’
Journalists from the Guardian newspaper and leading parenting website, Made For Mums, visited the Island with their children in tow to learn how to approach an expedition that the whole family can enjoy.
Over the course of the weekend, the visitors traversed the Island and took part in a number of unique activities including searching for wallabies and exploring the Calf of Man.
David Cretney MLC, Member with responsibility for tourism, commented:
‘The trip was coordinated as part of a wider campaign by the Department to promote the Island as a premier destination for outdoor family adventure. With additional press coverage still to appear in the coming months, the campaign has already reached a potential 3.4 million visitors. This is great promotion for the Isle of Man and a real commendation of the natural beauty and outdoor activities we have to offer. ‘
As part of the campaign, the Department also commissioned research looking in to the nation’s approach to outdoor time as a family, and the modern day child’s knowledge of native animals – discovering that children could identify Pokémon character Pikachu more readily than they could the garden sparrow – a tale that featured on Daily Express in print and online.
Mears also took to the radio to discuss the research and his passion for adventure on the Isle of Man appearing on interview segments across a wide range of national and regional stations, including Virgin Radio, BBC Bristol and Radio Yorkshire as well as the Island’s own Manx Radio.
To support the campaign, the Department has created a new webpage on the VisitIsleofMan.com website to help visitors select and create their own family outdoor adventure weekends: http://www.visitisleofman.com/adventureplayground.xml