As the Isle of Man TT racing commences, we ask Alex McNee “is the TT helpful in attracting businesses to set up on the Isle of Man?”
A: No. In my opinion no business, unless directly connected to the TT, will actually relocate or set up their operation on the Island because of it.
That said, many people on the Island do miss the value of the TT to the wider business community. I have travelled all over the world on business, from the USA to the Middle East to Asia, and it is fair to say that selling the Island is not always the easiest part of the job. Some think that we are part of the Channel Islands, others are not even that close.
However, those people that have heard of us have also invariably heard of the TT. In fact most will start by saying, “I have heard of the Isle of Man; don’t you guys have a bike race where they travel at 200mph? Those guys must be crazy.” Finding unique selling points for the Island and our industries is a difficult task in the modern world. As such, having such internationally recognised events with global coverage certainly makes us memorable and attractive. I have a number of clients who have asked to see the TT for themselves and none go home disappointed.
So to revisit my first line, no the TT will not help attract businesses to set up on the Island, but I do believe that it provides us all with a wonderful story which makes us memorable and gives a great opportunity to invite clients to our jurisdiction.