Out and About on the Isle of Man

Historian article

By Caroline Smith, published 4th December 2020

An island of history

Caroline Smith introduces us to the delights in the south of her home island.

The Isle of Man has had mixed fortunes as a tourist destination. It first attracted visitors in the early nineteenth century and had its heyday in 1913. In that year, over 600,000 holidaymakers came during the four-month season and to put that in perspective, the local population was about 50,000. The First World War brought the industry to its knees, but it managed a revival in the inter-war and post Second World War eras. Today, finance is the main industry, the local population is about 80,000 and the average number of visitors is less than half the 1913 figure, even when taking into account the ever popular TT races. However, the island is firmly on the cruise ship calendar and today’s tourists come not for the beach and the music hall, but for the scenery and the heritage...

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