The Isle of Man is a beautiful fantastic Island with breathtaking scenery, unspoilt beaches and a relaxed pace of life.
By plane or boat, it's within easy reach of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. For the thousands of visitors who are welcomed here year after year, it's an unforgettable holiday and short break destination. It's a great place to holiday, live and work.
Although the Isle of Man is one of the British Isles it is not part of the United Kingdom, but an independent country which controls its own affairs. Being British it acknowledges Queen Elizabeth as Sovereign and Lord of Mann. The Three Legs of Man which appear on the Manx flag is a symbol of independence.
The Manx Government, Tynwald, consists of the upper House known as the Legislative Council, with eight members elected by the Keys, the Lord Bishop and Attorney General, and the lower House of Keys consisting of 24 popularly elected members from 15 constituencies, who serve for a period of five years. There is a ministerial form of government with a chief minister and a number of ministers who head the departments.
During the past two decades the Isle of Man has experienced steady expansion, with the financial sector, in particular banking, insurance, investment and property management, showing the most rapid growth. In recent years, the film industry has become an increasingly important source of income and publicity for the Island while space exploration has emerged as an exciting and innovative sector.
The Manx language, Gaelg, is one of the Celtic family of languages akin to Scottish and Irish Gaelic. Once universally spoken,there was a rapid decline in the 18th and 19th centuries until it became almost extinct. However, place names and signs still appear in both Manx and English, and a strong revival has resulted in the language being taught again in primary and secondary schools.