In the 1890’s Douglas was developed into a tourist resort and there were lots of reasons for this including the Industrial Revolution-Mills and Mines, Improved Travel Facilities, Population growth and Annual Holidays began.
The first thing I will talk about is population growth. In 1811, the population for the whole of the United Kingdom was 17,907,976 and by 1890 it had risen to a massive 37,732,922, which is about 20 million more than 1811. Comparing this to the England and Wales figures with 10,164,256 in 1811 to 29,002,525 in 1890, in my opinion this is one of the main reasons for the Isle of Man’s success. The Population Growth could not be the only reason for the Islands success. Although in the early 1800’s the Island only had visitors who were wealthy and stayed in holiday homes rather than hotels as they were scarce before Douglas was developed into a thriving tourist resort.
In England the wealth and standard of living of the working class increased substantially and more people wanted to get away. In 1867 Trade Unions were formed as a group of workers organised for the purpose of improving wages and conditions in work. They fought for the right to vote in elections, fewer hours, better wages and safer working environments. As the Unions negotiations were successful, more people had more time to go on holiday and keep active by playing sports like football and cricket. The start of the FA Cup in the 1870’s and the first football club was set up in 1962 with the football association being set up a year later. Other sports people played in their newly found leisure time were golf, boxing and athletes.
People also took time to have an annual holiday and visited resorts all over the United Kingdom including seaside resorts such as Blackpool, Morecambe, Whitby and Brighton. The Isle of Man also joined the most popular holiday resorts visited and the increased prosperity people brought with them by spending money on local product and accommodation.
So how did they get to the Isle of Man? Transport to the Island was by steam ships and new ones were put in service to cope with the increase in numbers of tourists. Visitors came for day trips and short stays, for some people it was their main holiday for all of the family. With the development of the railway in the 1880’s people could move around the UK much more easily. Trains also provided transport for tourists to the port of Liverpool being the main sea crossing service to the Island. The railway network grew in the UK to cope with demand caused by the new working conditions and free leisure time. By 1900 it had covered the whole of the country.
How did people known about the Isle of Man? The selling part was very important and advertisements were put in national newspapers, official guides and posters. Many booklets were produced by writers covering the Island’s beauty and were widely available across the United Kingdom. Some of the advertisements showed how to reach the island, what accommodation was available and how much it would cost.