After two years without a TT, the Isle of Man is gearing up for the event’s return in 2022. This year’s TT is currently scheduled to kick off on Saturday, May 28 and run through Saturday, June 11—and organisers, participants, and fans alike are all busy preparing.
The last TT was held in 2019, and the Isle of Man government reported that over 46,000 visitors came to the island that year—the highest number since the IOM began keeping such statistics.
IOMTT attendees mostly come from the neighbouring United Kingdom, although visitors do also arrive from other places. In any case, though, all these thousands of visitors have at least two things in common: A love for motorcycle road racing, and needing a place to stay while they’re at the TT. That’s one reason the Isle of Man’s Department for Enterprise is encouraging homeowners on the island to sign up for its Homestay scheme for 2022.
Under the current terms for the IOM’s Homestay scheme, hosts that meet the criteria and pass a brief home inspection are covered by the Island’s £5m public liability insurance for guests. To sweeten the pot even further, homeowners can also make up to £1,800 (around $2,443) in tax-free income from their guests. In 2019, around 950 homes had signed up for the scheme, and provided accommodation for over 4,000 visitors in total.
As of February 1, 2022, over 500 people have signed up to host homestay guests during this year’s event—and the Department for Enterprise hopes to encourage more. While camping, glamping, hotels, guesthouses, and other accommodations all play important parts in keeping TT visitors cared for during their stay, it’s Homestay participants who give a unique experience to visitors, says the DfE.
Those who signed up to host Homestay guests during the cancelled 2020 and 2021 events have already been rolled over into 2022, according to Visit Isle of Man agency head Angela Byrne. She told the BBC that the agency is hoping to get to 2019 levels of participation. Of course, it’s difficult to predict how resident sentiment may shift due to the ongoing global pandemic, so only time will tell if they reach that goal.