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Visitor figures give tourism boost

There's good news at the start of the year for the Island's tourism industry.

The number of visitors to the Island rose by 4.3 per cent in 2009, to more than 287,000.

Visitor numbers have declined steadily since 2002, with the exception of TT centenary year in 2007 which brought a wave of extra visitors.

The trend will be watched closely to see if the loss of the reciprocal health agreement in April deters visits from the UK.

Last year's upturn may be due to the Department of Tourism and Leisure's TV advertising campaign.

Minister Martyn Quayle says holidays closer-to-home for UK citizens because of the economic squeeze also worked in the Island's favour.

The figures also show fewer of us left the Isle of Man - last year resident travel fell by more than nine per cent to 362,450.

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