The headline figure in the quarter three report for the Island, put together by Tourism South East (TSE), also shows the highest number of short-break (one to four nights) visitors in 8 years – 37% more than 2012. The news comes near the end of the first year that David Thornton has been at the helm of Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW), the Island’s tourism organisation responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Island.
In addition, the current projections – based on extensive surveys – reveal that the Island is on course to reach the target set by the DMO’s Chief Executive 12 months ago of an extra 300,000 visitors a year within five years.
David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said:
“Whilst the Island’s fortunes have no doubt been buoyed by the brilliant weather, initial results in from other regions indicate that our leap in short breaks activity is the exception rather than the norm and this year’s summer performance is a significant step forward.
“But we do recognise that not all sectors have done so well and we still have a way to go; the static caravan market for example needs further encouragement, and we intend to focus our efforts on widening the appeal and lengthening the season next year.
“We will continue to address weaknesses and maximise opportunities as we move into our second year. There is a long road ahead, but this is a good start and demonstrates that we can be greater than the sum of our parts if we work together to promote the Isle of Wight under one banner.”
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive commented:
“These results from the Isle of Wight are very encouraging to see. Without doubt the great weather this summer has given the tourism industry a real boost but the efforts of Visit Isle of Wight have obviously been key to the island’s successful season. I’m delighted to see the number of overnight visitors is so strong as this is what helps drive growth and ensures a greater contribution into the economy.”