The Department for Enterprise and Isle of Man Treasury have announced that they will be providing access to a range of financial support schemes and Government backed loans to support tourism and travel businesses affected by the cancellation of the 2021 TT who need to return deposits or rearrange bookings.
As a result of the announcement, businesses are also advised to make contact with customers regarding their plans in order to support them.
The Department has announced that it will extend all of the existing support schemes for a further month. These include both the Salary Support Scheme and the Strategic Capacity Scheme, as well as the Travel and Tourism Support Scheme, which all currently run to 31 March 2021, and which will now be extended to at least 30 April 2021. This initial extension marks a further £1.5m of support available and recognises the immediate impact businesses are going to have from this decision, but also that the picture beyond then is not yet fully clear and could see a return to a level of tourism as the season opens next year.
To further support the immediate pressure providers may have supporting those fans who are unable or unwilling to take deferred bookings to 2022 and beyond, the Department for Enterprise and Isle of Man Treasury are also working to provide access to additional working capital loans, and these will be made available from January 2021.
More information on this wider support and how to apply will be available in due course.
Rob Callister MHK, political member with responsibility for Tourism and Motorsport, said:
'The Department for Enterprise, through Visit Isle of Man, has been working with stakeholders including travel operators and accommodation providers to assess feasibility of all options and understand the challenges that they face. We have been encouraged by all interested parties to make an early decision in order for those involved to have clarity and time to plan. Reluctantly, the right decision under the circumstances was to cancel the 2021 TT.
'We recognise that today’s announcement will be a real disappointment to many, including the many hardworking Island businesses who welcome TT visitors and provide support for the event infrastructure each year.
'The accommodation sector in particular have highlighted an immediate challenge in that many bookings are paid in advance. It is not realistic to expect that all businesses will have the resources to support amendments to bookings within the current global climate, and therefore we felt it vitally important that we continue to provide assurance of further financial support for those affected.
'We sincerely hope that fans, having moved their bookings from this year to next, will be able to do so again and be able to join us for an exceptional TT in 2022, though we appreciate the complexities that this presents for businesses. Terms and Conditions of booking are a matter for each individual provider and in the first instance we recommend that businesses speak to their customers to understand their plans.
'For now, we would ask all our visitors to be patient with the industry as they work through the implications and access the support on offer.
'Following positive movements towards a globally accessible vaccine, on the Island we are also making positive steps towards a local vaccine programme. Although we are clearly still some way off before we can fully understand what next year looks like in terms of travel and tourism, the decision to cancel next year’s TT by no means suggests that the Island’s borders will remain closed by June of next year, or that visitors will not be permitted to travel to the Island for the 2021 tourism season.'
Businesses who would like further information on the support available can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 1624 686663.
For further information and FAQs regarding the cancellation of the 2021 TT, please visit the TT 2021 Cancellation FAQs.