THE Department of Economic Development has announced that local travel firm Regency Travel has taken over responsibility for the operation of the Homestay Scheme on its behalf.
From the 3rd February 2014 all available Homestay accommodation will no longer be listed on the Visit Isle of Man website and will instead feature on Regency’s www.iomttbreaks.com, which will become the only website that will offer officially registered Homestay accommodation.
Laurence Skelly MHK, the Political Member responsible for Tourism and Motorsport for the Department of Economic Development commented:
‘The TT is what we are best known for around the world and with 17% of TT 2013’s 40,000 visitors relying on Homestay accommodation the scheme has proved essential and contributed hugely to the event’s success.
‘It also proved important for the 2013 Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling with 7% of the 13,407 visitors also opting to make use of the scheme.
‘We feel that Regency Travel will greatly enhance the scheme. As well as dealing with all the usual enquiries and inspections previously carried out by the Department, they can offer online booking and will help ‘match’ potential guests to host families.
‘It also frees up time for staff in the Tourism team to further focus on delivering visitors to the Isle of Man all year round.
‘The criteria for eligibility and quality remain the same so I can assure visitors that all Homestay properties will meet fire and safety standards and will have public liability insurance in place.’
Richard Howarth of Regency Travel commented:
‘As the official Travel Partner of the TT we are delighted to be taking over the Homestay scheme. We feel it will only further enhance what is a great product and we look forward to working with the Homestay hosts and welcoming more visitors to the Island.’
Homestay can be offered during TT for any number of nights between 24th May and 6th June 2014 and for the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling between 16th and 29th August 2014. Last year the Department registered over 700 properties.
The registration fee is only £25.00 and covers both events. Participants registering a property through the scheme will be covered by Public Liability insurance for the period the property is registered.
Any Isle of Man householder interested in registering their property for Homestay or any potential visitor interested in staying in Homestay-registered accommodation should contact Regency Travel on 01624 694456, email email@example.com or visit www.iomttbreaks.com