I just spent 4 days last week on the island and it’s dying it really is.
Sandown and Shanklin are so dated and “down at heel” now, they desperately need tourists money to be spent there but all the time the cost of getting to the island is stupidly high it’s not going to happen.
Once this pandemic is fully over once again it will be cheaper to buy return flights to Spain than it will be to book a return ferry crossing for non-residents.
The hotel we stayed in was so dated it felt like I was in the last century and this wasn’t unique to this hotel, almost every one on the island I have stayed in for the last 10 or so years feels the same, dated and down at heel.I only come to the island because it’s where my roots are, for my holidays once covid is over I shall be going back to Spain where it’s cheaper and everywhere feels like a modern resort.
This won’t improve until the tourist who spend the money come in and they won’t do that unless it’s made easier and cheaper for them to go to the island.
The ferries are awkward, time consuming and expensive.
The Island is quaint but that’s not what people want nowadays, they want easy, they want modern and they want value for money, the Island offers none of these.
A lot of people say the same thing, a fixed link (be that a tunnel or a bridge) will bring higher crime rates to the Island, it will bring more immigrants to the island, it will destroy the way of life on the Island.
I am sure people can wax lyrical all day about how wrong I am but you only have to take a drive through the 2 “premier” resorts to sadly see them in their death throes.
This is why it needs a fixed link, it needs the money to come in that it will bring.