It is not only the poker community who are looking forward to the upcoming UKIPT Isle of Man, the island’s government and businesses are eager to welcome the hundreds of poker tourists who are set to descend on the island later this month.
Tourism is important to the Isle of Man; official figures show the 294,460 visitors in 2012 spent £103 million. In 2010, income generated from tourism represented 2% of the island’s total income.
Speaking to the BBC earlier this week, the Head of Isle of Man tourism, Angela Byrne said, “The event will give us a welcome boost for our visitor numbers. I believe there could be as many as three or four hundred people coming over for the event and we know the island will give them a warm welcome. That’s one of the things we are really known for.”
The inaugural United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Isle of Man festival takes place at Villa Marina in Douglas between October 30 and November 4. The highlight of the festival is sure to be the £1,100 buy-in UKIPT Isle of Man Main Event that carries a £500,000 guarantee.
Among those set to compete in the UKIPT Isle of Man Main Event are representatives of Team PokerStars Pro and Online. These include:
|Daniel Negreanu||Jason Mercier||Liv Boeree|
|Jake Cody||Andre Coimbra||Vicky Coren|
|Barry Greenstein||Isaac Haxton||Fatima Moreira de Melo|
|Mickey Peterson||Dale Philip||Vanessa Rousso|
|Adrienne Rowsome||Felix Schneiders||David Williams|
During the UKIPT Isle of Man festival, PokerNews will be exploring the place PokerStars has called home since 2005. We will be heading behind the scenes at PokerStars HQ, heading to places never before seen by the poker community.
According to the BBC, PokerStars is to host a Manx charity fundraising evening and will showcase e-gaming employment opportunities at a job fair.
One area of the tourism trade that is set to reap the benefits of the influx of visitors is the accommodation sectors. There are over 5,300 bed spaces on the Isle of Man, some of which belong to the Sefton hotel group. Adrian Brockhouse is the Head of the Sefton hotel group and he revealed the UKIPT Isle of Man festival could become a regular feature on the island.
“Recent changes to gambling legislation allows the Palace Casino to hold a Temporary Premises Certificate, which means we can temporarily licence a venue for gaming activities, such as poker.”
“It would boost tourism for the island during what is traditionally a quiet time.”
Last week, PokerNews produced an article entitled The Road to the Isle of Man, which discusses how to qualify for the UKIPT Isle of Man festival, how to get to the island, where to stay once you arrive and more. Be sure to check it out when you have a spare five minutes.
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