**The Isle of Wight County Press is partnering with Christ the King College in Newport to give young reporters the chance to find out what journalism is all about. We hope you enjoy their stories.

Tourism is widely recognised as one of the main economic drivers behind the Isle of Wight.

A recent study showed it generates approximately half a billion pounds each year for the local economy. 

According to Visit Isle of Wight, in a normal year, the Island welcomes 2.6 million visitors, who spend upwards of £330 million. There is a large seasonal labour force.

Isle of Wight County Press: An October sunset, by Alan Benns.An October sunset, by Alan Benns.

An economic profile by the Isle of Wight Council implied that this was a factor in 30.5 per cent of residents working part time, as of February 2020.

In the rural west of the Island, it’s as much as 40 per cent. 

The scene was set for the Island's tourism industry to enjoy a boost, when it was declared to be hosting the final stage of the 2022 Tour of Britain.

However, due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, some stages of the cycling race were cancelled.  

While discussions between the Isle of Wight Council and the organisers of the Tour of Britain continue, it seems there is still plenty on the horizon for visitors.

Read more:

Simon Clark, PR and travel media manager at Visit Isle of Wight, says the Island still has a lot to offer: "You only have to look at the incredibly varied range of visitors we have here - the attractions, accommodation options, events, and activities which are so diverse."

Visit Isle of Wight has long promoted the island as a sustainable travel destination and a fantastic option for domestic travel. 

"Visit Isle of Wight is always working to encourage visitors to our shores.

"If people are unable to book foreign travel, but still want a holiday, the Isle of Wight is a fantastic option for the domestic market and we want visitors to come and enjoy what we have to offer," said Simon.