Summer stats show tourism growth on the Isle of Wight

Early peek at summer statistics show tourism growth for the Isle of Wight

Eagerly awaited tourism figures for the summer of 2018 are being teased ahead of their official release next month.

Visit Isle of Wight is releasing just a few details, following weeks of speculation around the summer tourist trade.

The statistics, compiled by Tourism South East, cover the period from July until the end of September this year.

The Island’s destination management organisation is delighted that their marketing strategy, intended to strengthen the Island’s appeal with core audiences and bring additional growth, has proved successful.

Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight explains:

“[In] Quarter 3, which is July, August and September, we’re seeing an increase of just over 15 thousand visitors to the Island during that period, that’s compared to the same time the previous year.”

Although a large percentage of the visitors that came are classed as domestic, international visitors also make up a noticeable percentage.

In particular, there is a growing trend in visitors from the Benelux region of Europe, including the Netherlands and Belgium.

Will says that this increase will be reflected in next year’s marketing strategy:

“Probably about 24 percent of people coming to the Island are coming from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and northern France. Next year, we’re going to be doing a lot more of our overseas marketing based in these countries.”

It follows a number of press visits organised by Visit Isle of Wight from influential and much read publications in the Benelux region.The benefit to the Isle of Wight’s economy has also increased.

“The year from October 2017 through until the end of September 2018, the value of tourism spend is 286 million pounds. If I look at that from the previous 12 months, that’s actually about 4 and a half million pounds more, showing an increase year on year. That has to be good news.”

For the same period of July, August and September in 2017, domestic day visitors were spending just over £20. Will Myles says that figure has also increased dramatically:

“Domestic day visitors on to the Island for the same period have been spending £49.49. That is 139% up on the year on year, a huge number.”

Will Myles says that the industry on the Isle of Wight deserves particular praise for backing up what Visit Isle of Wight promises to visitors:

“It’s down to the tourism businesses to deliver, and they do, time and time again. Our message is come and have ‘Pure Island Happiness’ experience and I think that’s what people get when they get here and the people in the industry actually deliver that consistently, so well done to them and thanks from everyone at Visit Isle of Wight.”

It was a tough start to the traditional holiday season, and recently released figures showed that the Isle of Wight suffered along with the rest of the UK with poor weather at Easter:

“Easter was not a good start to the season and I think a lot of tourism providers on the Island will probably want to just lock that away in a cupboard. What I would say is that it’s had an impact, but we’re seeing stronger growth and stronger visitor numbers from then on, so it’s a really positive message going forward.”

Although the summer of 2018 will be remembered as a long hot one, a notable exception was the popular August Bank Holiday, which is reflected in the statistics:

“One of the things we’ve got to take into consideration is that towards the end of August, it wasn’t quite as sunny as maybe everyone remembers. August Bank Holiday was horrible, I stood and got very wet at a pop concert in Southsea!”

Will Myles has special thanks for the Visit Isle of Wight team:

“I have a very strong and committed team here at Visit Isle of Wight. They know the Island, they know the product and they know how to get it to market and that’s exactly what they’re doing, so well done them.”

The official data dashboard is due to be released at the beginning of November by Tourism South East, condensing the huge range of statistics.

This will be available at


Notes to editors:

Visit Isle of Wight is funded by Wight BID levy payers and voluntary contributors

Figures compiled by Tourism South East

Based on survey research, the collated figures are recognised as industry standard

Quarter 3 relates to 1 July – 31 September

Domestic day visitor is someone who is visiting from the UK mainland for the day, rather than staying for a night or more.

Benelux press includes:

  • A 500+ page guidebook called ‘Zuid-Engeland’, researched and written by Dirk Musschoot. The guidebook reached bookshops in Belgium and Holland on May 29th. It has already enjoyed a considerable amount of publicity in the Flemish media, based on interviews with Dirk:
  • Check, weekend magazine of national newspaper Het Nieuwsblad-De Gentenaar (245,000 copies – 1.1 million readers) – 3 pages.
  • De Markt, weekend magazine of regional newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen (90,000 copies – 400,000 readers) – 3 pages.
  • De Markt, weekend magazine of regional newspaper Belang van Limburg (93,000 copies – 450,000 readers) – 4 pages.
  • Wilem Laros – Dutch travel writer for CamperReis Magazine and Moto73.
  • Dutch travel bloggers, Nick & Kirsten, Reizen met de Trein – supported by Visit Britain