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Horse trams on the wrong track

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, b4mbi said:

It just doesn't make sense to look at the horse trams in isolation - they form part of a wider heritage transport network, which in turn forms part of the whole Isle of Man as a tourist destination offering.

Wouldn't it be better to take a top down approach and look at overall government accounts. What % of our total tax income are we as a community prepared to spend on attractions which support making the Isle of Man a tourist destination. This maximum % should then be allocated across all heritage/tourism assets - 10%? 

To go into the minutiae of the profit/loss of individual "tourist" assets is missing the broader picture.

Do the entry fees for Castle Rushen cover the staffing/upkeep/maintenance of the Castle? - sure as hell not
Do the fares for the heritage railways (incl. horsetram) cover their costs - sure as hell not
Do the entry fees for the House of Mannanan cover the running costs - sure as hell not
Who picks up the tab for running the Manx Museum?

All tourist assets will have cost. So my back of a fag packet calculations based on  blue book 17/18 -  £233m was collected in Income Tax (not NI, not VAT or any other Govt income) by IOMG.

£4.4m of net spending was made on Manx Museum and National Trust (MNH)
£4.9m of net spending on Motorsport (within DfE accounts)
£0.5m of net spending on Villa/Gaiety (within DfE)
£1.3m of net spend on Tourist development/tourist events (within DfE)
£0.4m of net spend on Wildlife Park (within DEFA)
£17.1m of net spend on Transport Services (within DOI) - but this must include the buses & horse trams - it is not broken down further, but that must be most ££ due to number of bus staff.
(£10.0) buses net spend cost guess. 

total £18.6m = approx. 8% of Income Tax receipts spent on tourist economy. - is that  reasonable?

Clearly, I've not considered the relatively high capital costs in maintaining the railways, but all other tourist attractions must also incur capital expense.

 

But that's what I meant. Even in your post there's assumptions, ifs and buts as regards the costs of these things. But even if we agree that not all these attractions can make money or even break even, the facts are that the horsetrams lose £400k+ pa. Which is a rising figure over the past 5 or so years. Plus their share of the now ongoing redevelopment costs of the promenade and the new stables etc.

I think it's too much and can't be justified without some sort of figures to indicate what their share of tourist  attraction actually is. And personally, I don't think it's much or they'd be much better patronised by our tourists and thus returning better revenue.

It's not reasonable to keep throwing large amounts of money at them simply because they supposedly make some unquantified, nebulous contribution to our "tourist economy", such as it is. A bit like fairy houses, surprise, surprise.

There needs to be a better, properly costed business case. God knows, we employ enough statisticians to produce figures to justify everything else. But the chances of getting anything like that out of DfE or DOI are about as likely as finding life on the Moon.

Edited by Non-Believer
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@b4mbi  There's a breakdown of income and costs by railway shown in questions from Rob Callister in an April Keys:

http://www.tynwald.org.im/business/hansard/20002020/k190416.pdf#page=31

How reliable they are is another matter.  Apparently they received £ 57,915 in income from the Horse Trams in the first year (2015-16) for no costs at all!  After that the DoI effect clicked in and over the last three years income dropped by 9% while costs rose by 78%.

The income from all-in tickets is shown separately as "Rail - Off train" which is not only confusingly titled but it the sort of thing which most companies would make an effort to split - if only the reflect comparative usage.

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The railways have made a creditable improvement in revenue in recent years. They cover far more of their costs now than, say, 10 years ago.

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17 minutes ago, woolley said:

The railways have made a creditable improvement in revenue in recent years. They cover far more of their costs now than, say, 10 years ago.

One would hope so too, given the expenditure that's been lavished on them?

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Interesting.

The net spend on "transport services" in DoI section of the audited accounts 17/18 is £17.1m

Per that tynwald written answer link @Roger Mexico gave, the net spend is just shy of £10m for bus and rail.

(Net spend for rail only to plug into my figures was more around £4.5m)

Ah. Bet the airport counts as "transport services"  who would be surprised if that was a net spend of £7m......

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20 minutes ago, Mr Helmut Fromage said:

https://www.manxradio.com/news/isle-of-man-news/horse-tram-temporary-marquee-cost-24000/

The genius Harmer has managed to save us £72,000 on a tent........ HURRAH 

Struggling to uncurl my toes.

Harmer is such a total wanker I’m amazed at his ability to hang on. I’m sure it’s only that fact that nobody else wants to be associated as being “the Minister for Clowns” that he’s still there. It’s surely a job nobody wants dealing with dickhead DOI management every day. 

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24 minutes ago, Mr Helmut Fromage said:

https://www.manxradio.com/news/isle-of-man-news/horse-tram-temporary-marquee-cost-24000/

The genius Harmer has managed to save us £72,000 on a tent........ HURRAH 

Struggling to uncurl my toes.

"Future plans for the marquee within Govt".

365 day Gin Palace up Noble's Park?

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3 minutes ago, Non-Believer said:

"Future plans for the marquee within Govt".

365 day Gin Palace up Noble's Park?

Nah, mobile food bank in our booming economy.

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38 minutes ago, Non-Believer said:

"Future plans for the marquee within Govt".

They are going to use it for Tynwald...instead of it being full of horse shit its gonna be full of bullshit instead !!

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7 hours ago, b4mbi said:

It just doesn't make sense to look at the horse trams in isolation - they form part of a wider heritage transport network, which in turn forms part of the whole Isle of Man as a tourist destination offering.

Wouldn't it be better to take a top down approach and look at overall government accounts. What % of our total tax income are we as a community prepared to spend on attractions which support making the Isle of Man a tourist destination. This maximum % should then be allocated across all heritage/tourism assets - 10%? 

To go into the minutiae of the profit/loss of individual "tourist" assets is missing the broader picture.

Do the entry fees for Castle Rushen cover the staffing/upkeep/maintenance of the Castle? - sure as hell not
Do the fares for the heritage railways (incl. horsetram) cover their costs - sure as hell not
Do the entry fees for the House of Mannanan cover the running costs - sure as hell not
Who picks up the tab for running the Manx Museum?

All tourist assets will have cost. So my back of a fag packet calculations based on  blue book 17/18 -  £233m was collected in Income Tax (not NI, not VAT or any other Govt income) by IOMG.

£4.4m of net spending was made on Manx Museum and National Trust (MNH)
£4.9m of net spending on Motorsport (within DfE accounts)
£0.5m of net spending on Villa/Gaiety (within DfE)
£1.3m of net spend on Tourist development/tourist events (within DfE)
£0.4m of net spend on Wildlife Park (within DEFA)
£17.1m of net spend on Transport Services (within DOI) - but this must include the buses & horse trams - it is not broken down further, but that must be most ££ due to number of bus staff.
(£10.0) buses net spend cost guess. 

total £18.6m = approx. 8% of Income Tax receipts spent on tourist economy. - is that  reasonable?

Clearly, I've not considered the relatively high capital costs in maintaining the railways, but all other tourist attractions must also incur capital expense.

 

OK, that's all very good. How many tourists did the expenditure attract? How many tourists does the IOM actually attract, outside of Motorsport events and other special events? What I am trying to get to is the figure for tourists that come, principally for the Heritage "attractions". Does this information exist? It is well and good talking about the expenditure that goes into making the Island a tourism destination but that expenditure cannot be evaluated as being a good investment, without some information about the actual number of tourists actually attracted by it. A few years ago I read that the approximate number of visitors, annually was 300,000. Of these, 100,000 were visiting friends and family; 100,000 were business related and 100,000 were tourists. Of the 100,000 say 40,000 came to the TT, 10,000 to the Classic TT/MGP and another 5,000 to the Southern 100, car rallies or simply to visit the Island on motorcycles and car clubs. That leaves somewhere around 45,000 other tourists. What percentage of these arrived here because they would get to sit on a horse tram or steam railway? I don't know the answer to these questions and I suspect the likes of Mr Harmer don't know either. However that does not stop him from saying that criticisms or, at least questions about the value for money the losses on these services are misconceived. It would be true progress to have politicians who could explain their decisions with facts, rather than merely insulting the intelligence of those that dare to question.

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8 hours ago, joebean said:

OK, that's all very good. How many tourists did the expenditure attract? How many tourists does the IOM actually attract, outside of Motorsport events and other special events? What I am trying to get to is the figure for tourists that come, principally for the Heritage "attractions". Does this information exist? It is well and good talking about the expenditure that goes into making the Island a tourism destination but that expenditure cannot be evaluated as being a good investment, without some information about the actual number of tourists actually attracted by it. A few years ago I read that the approximate number of visitors, annually was 300,000. Of these, 100,000 were visiting friends and family; 100,000 were business related and 100,000 were tourists. Of the 100,000 say 40,000 came to the TT, 10,000 to the Classic TT/MGP and another 5,000 to the Southern 100, car rallies or simply to visit the Island on motorcycles and car clubs. That leaves somewhere around 45,000 other tourists. What percentage of these arrived here because they would get to sit on a horse tram or steam railway? I don't know the answer to these questions and I suspect the likes of Mr Harmer don't know either. However that does not stop him from saying that criticisms or, at least questions about the value for money the losses on these services are misconceived. It would be true progress to have politicians who could explain their decisions with facts, rather than merely insulting the intelligence of those that dare to question.

The data must be there because all of the heritage transport 'attractions' sell tickets. If you exclude ticket sales during the motorsport and other organised events then that should give you a rough idea of other visitor patronage.

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6 hours ago, Andy Onchan said:

The data must be there because all of the heritage transport 'attractions' sell tickets. If you exclude ticket sales during the motorsport and other organised events then that should give you a rough idea of other visitor patronage.

but they also sell tickets to locals?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/14/2019 at 2:10 PM, b4mbi said:

but they also sell tickets to locals?

-

Edited by LightBulb

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