19 February, 2024

Earlier this month Visit Isle of Man hosted over 50 members of the British Guild of Travel Writers (‘the Guild’), the UK’s leading association for travel media professionals, for their annual general meeting (‘AGM’) and an exploration of the Isle of Man.

From 5th – 8th February 2024, members of the Guild were treated to an immersive experience of the Isle of Man, discovering the hidden gems, unique stories and distinctive character that make the Island a captivating destination for visitors worldwide.

The opportunity to host the Guild’s AGM was a strategic move by Visit Isle of Man to build on the momentum gained from the Agency’s successful PR outcomes achieved in 2023. Amplifying the Island’s presence through extensive and robust PR initiatives, the success of the campaign was evident in the exponential increase in reach, growing from 250,000 in June to 5.8 billion by the end of 2023.

Sector support from industry partners such as the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Manx National Heritage, Isle of Man Transport, and other local tourism and hospitality businesses, enabled Visit Isle of Man to create a series of educational opportunities for the visiting journalists. As a result, the travel writers, most of whom stayed on the Island for three to four days following the AGM, are expected to deliver a minimum of 50 articles in national and regional publications, including Forbes and Coast Magazine.

Commenting on the British Guild of Travel Writers’ visit, Ranald Caldwell, Chair of Visit Isle of Man, said:

‘With a modest investment of approximately £50,000, 97% of which was spent with on-Island tourism and hospitality businesses, we anticipate a substantial return on investment exceeding £1 million based on the equivalent advertising spend in previous years. Moreover, the potential reach and syndication of articles by the travel writers will further amplify our promotional efforts. It is estimated a reach figure of over 125 million will be achieved based on the commissions secured by the writers.’

Deborah Heather, CEO of Visit Isle of Man, added:

‘Visit Isle of Man has always hosted journalists through individual press visits, and this was a brilliant opportunity to up the ante, host the travel writers collectively, in a cost effective way. With the writers representing publications in our biggest feeder markets, we are deliberately driving coverage pre-season, hopefully impacting on consumer buying decisions.’

Daphne Caine MHK, Political Member with responsibility for Tourism and Motorsport, concluded:

‘We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to showcase our extraordinary Island to such esteemed travel professionals. Collaborations like these are invaluable in elevating the Isle of Man’s profile on the global stage, fostering deep connections with influential voices in the travel industry, and ultimately attracting more visitors to experience our rich heritage, vibrant culture, stunning landscapes and warm hospitality first-hand.’

Reflecting on the success of the British Guild of Travel Writers trip, Visit Isle of Man extends its gratitude to the local businesses within the tourism sector for their support in hosting and accommodating the writers.