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Writing a tourism strategy for the Isle of Man

20 November 2015

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This year we’ve been working on a new strategy for tourism in the Isle of Man. As the most competitive sector, it has been a tough task to narrow down our aims and futureproof our strategy for the years to come. The end result is a comprehensive Destination Management Plan (DMP) which not only outlines a set of objectives but also drives innovation and change across the tourism industry.

DMP Front cover

I wanted to share our approach to writing a tourism strategy for a first class destination.

1. Research, research, research

The foundation to any robust tourism strategy is comprehensive research, intelligence and analysis. As part of the planning for the DMP we commissioned and analysed a range of research documents on visitor types, national statistics and qualitative responses from visitors and non-visitors. While this takes time, investment and an enormous amount of effort, it allows us to not only drive forward a strategy based on solid evidence but also gives us the justification for our choices and decisions.

2. Working together

When writing the tourism strategy it’s important to make sure stakeholders are involved at all stages. As a Government Department, we are accountable to a large number of stakeholders, from the industry itself to politicians, local residents, visitors and the broader business community. It’s important to listen and be inclusive but also to learn from all our stakeholders, whilst always ensuring ultimately what’s right for the Isle of Man

3. Where do we want to be?

We have been ambitious with our aims, projecting a 20% growth in visitor numbers. I am of the opinion that we need to aim high as a destination and strive for continuous improvement. I believe that our strategic objectives represent a realistic approach to the resources we have in the Isle of Man, but we must think ‘Destination First’. To turn potential into actual demand will require Government and individual businesses to engage in a cycle of continuous improvement and investment in new products and experiences for the target markets. This endorses that our DMP is based on evidence, endorsed by stakeholders and driven by ambition.

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