There has been a 30% jump in people considering a visit to the Isle of Man following a major advertising campaign with one of the UK’s leading newspapers, according to research.
The aim of the three-month campaign with The Telegraph was to raise awareness of the Island as a tourist destination and enhance perceptions of the activities and attractions on offer to visitors. A survey of readers has shown the advertising increased interest in the Isle of Man and had made people more likely to visit.
Comparing responses from surveys conducted immediately before and after the promotion, researchers found respondents who could recall the campaign were 30% more likely to consider visiting the Island, and 34% more likely to make the journey within the next year.
The surveys also demonstrated the campaign had succeeded in its aim of enhancing perceptions of the Isle of Man, with more people seeing the Island as a place rich in history and natural beauty, boasting a unique culture and a place to take an active outdoor holiday.
The campaign, a partnership between the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and the Department of Economic Development, used a series of specially-commissioned features, which appeared in print and on the newspaper’s iPad app. These were researched and written by journalists following visits to the Island.
Articles covered everything from the unique heritage and spectacular countryside to festivals and walking holidays, and the campaign also included accommodation tips, suggested itineraries, recommendations for families and a competition to win a holiday in the Isle of Man.
There were also targeted emails to more than 46,000 addresses on the Telegraph’s database, and a dedicated online ‘hub’ to spread the word about the wonders of the Island. The dedicated website, which recorded more than 59,000 unique browsers, included stunning photos and bespoke videos showing off the best of the Island, featuring footage specially filmed from drones. These videos were viewed more than 15,000 times.
The survey results showed the campaign had been successful in reaching readers; 29% of respondents recalled the specially-commissioned features and 66% read the articles, far ahead of the expected 47% level.
There were strong indications that those who read the articles had become more interested in the Island as a holiday destination, had been encouraged to consider visiting in the future, and had been introduced to attractions they hadn’t previously considered – 70% were more likely to find out more about holidays in the Isle of Man after reading the articles, the research found.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘This campaign represented a major investment and a wonderful opportunity to promote the Isle of Man as a holiday destination to Telegraph readers.
‘Every year, the Steam Packet Company spends in excess of £550,000 marketing the Isle of Man in the UK and Ireland, and it can be difficult sometimes to assess what impact campaigns have had. These surveys have allowed us to see that the series of dedicated features were read and remembered, and positively influenced people’s attitudes towards the Isle of Man and plans to visit.’
Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism at the Department of Economic Development, added: ‘We wanted this campaign to improve awareness of the Isle of Man and enhance people’s appreciation of the Island as a holiday destination.
‘The survey results suggest it has been a successful partnership, as the responses show people’s perception of what the Island has to offer tourists has been changed and that the advertising has encouraged more people to consider visiting.’
The results of the campaign were delivered to the Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee this week, and Chamber Chief Executive Jane Dellar said: ‘The investment and hard work of the Steam Packet Company and DED in putting together and delivering this imaginative and far-reaching campaign is to be applauded.
‘By committing to a sustained promotion over a number of weeks, this campaign has allowed Telegraph readers to see a wider range of the activities and attractions the Island has to offer visitors, and as the surveys show, it has clearly worked.’
The campaign’s online hub can currently be viewed at www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/travel/isle-of-man-ferry-holidays