Air Ambulance Reaps Benefits of Ethical Tourism

Cumbria Tourism has donated £600 to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) through a ‘FairBooking’ tourism scheme with accommodation providers across the county.

FairBooking Cumbria, part of FairBookingUK, is an ethical booking initiative which aims to provide the best accommodation deal for customers, as well as a better deal for local businesses and the destination where visitors intend to stay.

FairBooking does this by promoting direct booking to visitors, which makes it a fairer deal for local businesses as direct bookings reduce their dependence on high commission charged by Online Travel Agents (OTAs). In return visitors receive the best rates available online for the property they are booking with.

In addition, official FairBooking destinations such as Cumbria Tourism and its website, and individual businesses like hotels and B&Bs who are part of the campaign, donate to a local charity that supports both visitors and the destination, thereby ensuring direct bookings also benefit the local economy and the environment.

Mandy Drake, Head of Fundraising at GNAAS said: “The funds donated by these Cumbrian businesses will help to keep our Pride of Cumbria aircraft in the air, and will save lives in the county. We rely solely on the generosity of the public to raise the £4.5m needed to continue to operate every year.”

Cumbria Tourism’s Sue Clarke, who is the manager of the FairBookingUK helpdesk, said: “The tourism industry is worth more than £2 billion to Cumbria’s economy.

“Accommodation providers who use OTA’s are very concerned about the high commission rates they are paying to these often overseas based companies. For example, OTAs can charge anywhere between 15-30% commission of the value of each booking. This not only impacts on local businesses’ profits but also on their ability to support local suppliers. FairBookingUK aims to reduce the amount of commission that accommodation providers pay, helping them to be more profitable so that the local economy can grow stronger.

Unlike many OTAs, FairBookingUK has a strong ethical dimension and Cumbria Tourism is pleased to support local charities on which visitors depend, this year we are delighted to donate to The Great North Air Ambulance.

FairBookingUK is a partnership of Cumbria Tourism, New Forest Tourism Partnership and Visit Cornwall, with backing from other destination management organisations and businesses across the UK.

So far there are more than 150 accommodation providers signed up to FairBooking across Cumbria and the Lake District. To find out more about booking accommodation through FairBooking, or getting your own business involved in the scheme visit or call Sue Clarke on 01539 822222.


Notes to Editors:

  • Photo opportunity: Photo attached, courtesy of Charlie Wearden, Cumbria Tourism Andy Mawson (left) Sue Clarke (centre) & Andy Dalton (right)
  • Issued by Catherine Taylor, Cumbria Tourism Press Office. For further information please contact 01539 825019 or on

  • FairBookingUK is a campaign to encourage visitors to book directly with UK accommodation providers or through a FairBooking website such as Established by Cumbria Tourism, New Forest Tourism Partnership and Visit Cornwall with the backing of their technology partner New Vision Group, FairBooking aims to reduce businesses dependence on marketing with multi-national, online travel agents who charge high commission rates. To find out more about the work FairBooking UK, visit or email

  • Follow FairBookingUK:
  • Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria Visitor Economy. It is also the largest membership organisation in Cumbria with more than 2,600 members. 40 million annual visitors to Cumbria contribute more than £2.2 billion to the local economy and supporting around 56,410 jobs. To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit To book accommodation in Cumbria – the Lake District, visit

  • Further contacts: Great North Air Ambulance Service – Stacy Hucker, 01352 487263,

For further information

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01539 822222 or