ON THE devil that is social media, there was a recent post by an Islander, in an IW community group, saying how lovely it was that the summer season was drawing to a close and the beaches were empty again.

I think the vast majority of people reading this post knew exactly what he meant.

As someone said, it’s a bit like having close family or friends to stay — you have a lovely time with them but, when they leave, you breath a sigh of relief and put your feet up, revelling in the peace and quiet.

But a few people took umbrage.

‘Thanks a lot for making us tourists feel so welcome, NOT!’

And ‘you love taking our money though don’t you?’ and ‘I’m totally offended by this post.’

I thought, hang on, no-one is saying we don’t like tourists.

Summer is a great time on the Island, mainly because of our tourist industry.

We have many cool events. Festivals, scooter rallies, fetes, cycle races, sailing regattas, live entertainment galore, carnivals.

Then we have our amazing beaches and countryside, wildlife, flora and fauna.

It’s all pretty wonderful.

Admittedly, this all comes at a price, with road congestion, parking issues, noise and crowds.

But there are always cons to everything and I think we, as an Island, gain enormous positives from being a tourist destination.

Many Islanders work extraordinarily hard to make sure our visitors have a great time.

Tourists breath life into our Island, and our economy, and help keep us going from year to year, motivating more and more people to dream up attractions, open great restaurants, run vibrant pubs, open quirky shops, design boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, run gigs — all of which makes our Island an even more desirable place not just to visit, but to live.

So, tourists are vital and appreciated.

It’s like the seasons of the year. In summer, we all revel in the long days, the better weather, the beach, ice-cream and sandy chips.

Then comes autumn when most of the tourists leave, the nights draw in, the trees put on a beautiful show before shedding their leaves and we begin to hunker down, put the heating on and prepare for Christmas.

Then comes winter, for many the most miserable season of the year, when we hibernate, eat too much, don’t shave our legs, wear unflattering clothes because they’re warm, but love Downtown Abbey, stew and dumplings, roast dinners, mince pies and mulled wine.

And when spring comes at last, we venture out, blinking, marvelling at the trees beginning to bud, the days start to get longer, flowers appear, there’s birdsong on steroids as they desperately try to attract a mate — then here comes summer.

And it's the beach, barbecues, entertainment galore, there’s a buzz.

The change of the seasons revitalises and refreshes us all. If it was permanent summer, how would we appreciate the crisp frosts of winter and snuggly jumpers?

If it was permanent winter, how would we feel the suns warmth and play outside like we do?

It’s all about seeing the good and balance.