TT 2018 InterviewThe return of Isle of Man TT races has seen “incredible highs” but also “lows”, the MHK responsible for tourism and motorsport has said.

Thousands of fans have arrived to be part of the event’s return after a two-year hiatus, but the racing has also seen the deaths of three competitors.

Rob Callister MHK said while it was good to see visitors return, the event had its lows but “we get through them”.

The festival culminates with the Senior TT race on Friday.

One of those to visit was motorcycle fan Kevin Vickers, who came to the event after being encouraged to by friends who had previously watched the races.

“I have found the island and the TT amazing, locals are very friendly and helpful, and it has stood out massively. This place is beautiful”, he said.

His friend and fellow first-time visitor Yvonne Vickers said the “biggest thrill is the amount of people, it has surpassed expectations”.

“The amount of bikes is just like breathtaking really, and the noise, I love the noise of it all and everything. You have to come and see it for yourself,” she added.

Local resident Norma Smith said the island needed the “injection of people and money” the event brings after a “bad couple of years” for tourism businesses.

Her partner Ron Smith said it was “the best thing that has happened in three years”, adding the government had done a “super job” preparing Douglas Promenade.

Returning visitor Paul Kirby, who is camping with friends at Glenlough in Glen Vine, said the group had carried their holiday bookings over for the past two years because of the cancellations.

“I think there is a few less people here this time, maybe because they were not too sure whether it was going to go ahead, or were a bit apprehensive,” he added.

Reflecting on the event’s cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Callister said the return of large visitor numbers was providing a “major economic boost” for the tourism sector.