Isle of Man welcomes first cruise passengers in two yearsTravel And Tour World

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Published on : Thursday, April 21, 2022

More than 200 passengers travelling on MS Maud arrived earlier in Douglas Bay, as part of a tour of the British Isles.

Cruise passengers last visited the island in early March 2020 before border restrictions were introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Enterprise Minister Alex Allinson said it was a “very welcome return” for the tourist sector which was trying to get “back up and running”.

He said he hoped there could be more interest in visiting the island after the pandemic had led to “a bit of a reset in people’s aspirations” when it came to holidays.

Dr Allinson said people still wanted to visit Europe and further afield but were uncertain what restrictions they may face.

So, the idea, this summer, that we can entice more people, particularly from the British Isles, to come to the Isle of Man is really valid, he said.

During the last unrestricted tourism season cruise passengers contributed about £500,000 to the island’s visitor economy.

Dr Allinson said although that was relatively small, it was an important part of their overall tourism offering.

What they’re trying to do is get the tourism sector on the Isle of Man back up and running again, and he thinks the arrival of these cruise ships is a very welcome return to this.

Forty-seven cruise ships are due to visit the island this year, equalling the number of visits in 2019.

The economic benefit of the cruise industry to the island would be assessed this summer to see whether it could be extended to off-peak periods in future, Dr Allinson added.

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