Enterprise Minister Dr Alex Allinson has said the island will be ready to host next year’s TT.
The world’s most famous road races have been on a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, but are set to return in 2022.
Speaking to Gef, Dr Allinson said staging the races again is a ‘challenge but also a huge opportunity’.
He added: ‘I think there is a pent up demand there for events like the TT. What we need to do is work really closely with the people that run it, to listen to their needs, particularly things like marshals who haven’t been able to do any training for the last two years.
‘We need to do a lot of work with those people, to support them so that we can actually have the event that we all love and actually put the Isle of Man back on the map as the road racing capital of the world.’
As well as being responsible for the TT, DfE is also the gov dept which leads on the island’s tourism strategy, Dr Allinson outlined some of the opportunities the island can take advantage of in the coming year.
‘We’ve spent the last 18 months trying to keep people away from the Isle of Man, now we’re opening the gates again, we need to do that quite carefully obviously, particularly with the risk of further surges of Covid over the winter,’ Dr Allinson said. ‘But, I’m confident, particularly with the vaccination campaigns, that by the time of spring next year, we should be able to open the doors again.
‘What we’ve seen right across the UK, is people going on staycations, we can tap into that market and actually boost the tourism industry here, but also boost the available events for people who live here as well. It can’t be just about tourists coming over, the people on the Isle of Man have to benefit from all of this, whether it’s being able to take part in the TT or whether it’s going to see some of the concert or other activities that will be on that time.’
Through the Winter
Another challenge for the new Minister is what his dept is able to do to help small and medium businesses, particularly those in hospitality and tourism, through the winter. Dr Allinson said this isn’t just about how the gov can help those businesses, but how it can encourage residents to go out and shop and eat locally.