This year’s TT festival benefited the Manx economy to the tune of about £26.8m, a government survey has found.

The Department of Enterprise survey said 44,367 spectators had attended this year’s festival. While this was 1.5% down on 2017, the total amount spent by them increased.

The total expenditure of TT visitors was estimated at £37.1 million – £3m (8.9%) more than 2017.

More than 50 different nationalities were represented in the survey.

Nearly four in five (78%) of the respondents were from the UK and Ireland, though.

TT fans spent an average of 6.7 nights on the island during the fortnight, typically spending £886, according to the survey.

Rob Callister MHK said the slight drop in visitors was expected following exceptional growth of 6.2% the previous year.

Mr Callister, the government’s political member for motorsport, said visitor numbers have grown sharply across the past decade.

He said 10,000 more people were attending the event than was the case in 2010 when surveys began.

“It is also very encouraging to see such significant increases in the number of new visitors to the event and the number of international visitors, which is very positive,” he said.

While 37% of visitors said they were visiting the TT for the first time in 2018, 11% said they had attended on more than 20 occasions.

In total, 6,577 passengers were interviewed, of which 4,448 were TT visitors.

TT records tumbled in 2018 with Peter Hickman setting an absolute course record of more than 135mph to win the Senior race.

His lap meant the TT is now the fastest road race in the world.

Source: BBC