The Department for Enterprise has revealed the latest visitor survey for the Southern 100, showing an increase of fifty percent in visitors to the races in 2017.
In 2017 a total of 4,770 attended the event which runs on the Billown circuit at the beginning of July. The survey showed that visitors stayed for an average of 4.3 nights and spent an estimated £434 on the trip.
This equates to an estimated visitor spend is around £2.1 million, representing a contribution of just over £1.5 million to the Island’s economy.
The survey is the latest in a series of annual surveys carried out by the Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise to assess the economic contribution of the Island’s three main motorcycle events – the TT Races, the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling (Classic TT, Manx Grand Prix, VMCC Festival of Jurby, Two Day Trial) and the Southern 100.
The key findings of the 2017 study were:
An estimated 4,770 visitors came for the Southern in 2017 – an increase of 50% on the number coming in 2016.
On average, visitors stayed 4.3 nights in the Island and spent £434 on the trip. Total expenditure of these visitors in 2017 is estimated at around £2.1 million. This represents a contribution to Manx National Income of just over £1.5 million and an Exchequer Benefit of £0.3million.
75% had visited the Island previously for the Southern, and two-thirds tend to visit for other motorsport events such as TT and Festival of Motorcycling.
The bulk (79%) were from England, with 19% from the rest of the British Islands/Republic of Ireland and 2% from further afield.
Rob Callister MHK, Political Member at the Department with responsibility for Tourism, said:
‘This remarkable growth is a tribute to the hard-working committee of the Southern 100 Club who continue to deliver a strong event that contributes significantly to the Island’s overall visitor economy as well as attracting notable media coverage through print, on-line and television.
‘The event is now well established as the third largest on the island in terms of visitors and is an important pillar in our annual motorsport strategy and a great contributor to our visitor economy.’
George Peach, Race Secretary said: ‘The results of the 2017 visitor survey confirm the increasing popularity of the Southern 100 International Road Races and encourages us, as organisers to continue to further ensure the quality of the entry and improve facilities for the spectators and enthusiasts who make the effort to return year after year and enhance their visitor experience.
‘Southern 100 Racing are already well advanced in the planning for the 2018 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 International Road Races which will held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th July.’
(Photo courtesy of Louis Porter)