21 March 2024

Visit Isle of Man, an Executive Agency within the Department for Enterprise, is welcoming expressions of interest to join its newly formed Destination First Board.

The Destination First Board will be focused on:

  • The delivery of the Island’s Strategic Plan by promoting a better working relationship across government departments and industry with the collective aim of delivering and maintaining an enhanced experience for Isle of Man residents and visitors alike.

  • Developing an exceptional visitor experience which is a core development pillar of the Visitor Agency’s 2022/32 Strategy.

  • Government’s ‘Our Public Service’ colleague cultural shift programme.

With headline targets to grow annual visitor numbers to 500,000, with a subsequent economic contribution of £430 million, by 2032, the Agency is seeking expressions of interest from members of the public with a specific interest in destination development and guardianship of the Island.

The Isle of Man’s visitor economy plays a fundamental role in the Isle of Man Government’s overarching vision to build a secure, vibrant and sustainable future for the Island nation. Visitor spending provides income for, and supports employment in, the Island’s accommodation, retail, hospitality, attractions, transport and entertainment sectors, and considerable supply chain benefit from the on-Island spending of this money by these businesses and visitor sector workers. The visitor economy is also vital to the Island in terms of maintaining and improving its air and sea transport links and enhancing the Isle of Man as a place to invest, work, live and relocate to.

Deborah Heather, CEO Visit Isle of Man, commented:

‘Visit Isle of Man is becoming increasingly responsible for destination stewardship. This is the process where local communities and the tourism industry take joint ownership of working together to achieve a more sustainable and aesthetic destination. It is a multi-stakeholder approach to maintaining the balance between culture, environment and the economy. It requires tenacious commitment, especially where budgets are stretched already. The plan is for this Board to drive a programme of continuous improvement, working across government departments, private sector and interested parties.

‘Economically, destination guardianship has been proven to improve gross domestic happiness as well as guest satisfaction and to increase spend across locations and regions. The Visit Agency is happy to champion this, it’s all about a win-win.’

The Visit Agency Board and the Department for Enterprise discussed a Destination Stewardship paper in November 2023 and January 2024 and instructed that the Visit Agency Board should develop an enhanced Destination First Board to manage service experience, expanding it to include Isle of Man residents as well as visitors.

During the November sitting of Tynwald, Mr Moorhouse's Motion 22 regarding Visitor Service, and a subsequent amendment by Minister Johnston, carried unanimous support for the establishment of a Visitor First Committee by the beginning of March 2024, along with supporting terms of reference. The formation of the Destination First Board stemmed from this motion.

The application form can be downloaded at www.visitisleofman.com/trade/about-us/expressions-of-interest/application-form with completed applications emailed to Deborah.Heather@gov.im.

The closing date for applications is 05 April 2024.