An ambassador for one of the world’s most influential travel guides ‘Lonely Planet’, has highlighted The Lake District, Cumbria as one of her favourite places to visit without using a car, thanks to a successful partnership with Cumbria Tourism.

As part of the official destination management organisation’s ongoing efforts to reduce the number of cars on the county’s roads, it formed a partnership with successful blogger Chloe Gunning – known to her online community as ‘Wanderlust Chloe’, who enjoys a combined online audience of almost a quarter of a million people.

Working with transport providers, accommodation and attractions in the northern Lake District, Cumbria Tourism welcomed Chloe and her partner – also a successful travel blogger in his own right, for a four-day visit to the Ullswater area designed specifically to dispel the myths that a car is a much-needed transportation method.

Arriving on the West Coast Main Line by train and getting around the area exclusively by bus, boat, e-bike and on foot, Chloe showcased the area in a special video highlighting the visit, published across both Chloe and Cumbria Tourism’s own channels.

The partnership with Chloe is just one part of Cumbria Tourism’s ongoing campaign to encourage more visitors to leave the car at home and choose more sustainable transport methods.

Chloe, who likes to avoid driving whenever possible, says, “Social media plays a very influential role in destination marketing. Videos in particular, have the power to transport the viewer to a destination they may never have considered visiting before. Whether it’s showcasing the highlights of a region or sharing an important message such as the car-free angle for this visit, it’s easier to connect with people around the world than it’s ever been before. I loved exploring more of the Lake District on my recent trip, and it was great to experience so much across a few days without needing to get behind the wheel.”

Head of Marketing & Partnerships at Cumbria Tourism, Rachel Tyson, says, “As social media becomes an increasingly important way to promote businesses, products and services, it has also become a primary resource for people considering where to take their next holiday. We strongly feel that part of a relaxing break comes by getting away from the car and using other ways of moving around, which Chloe illustrated perfectly. We’re absolutely thrilled with the success of Chloe’s blog and video; and it’s a really strong indicator of how people are choosing to research locations for their next getaway.

“Tourism is absolutely vital for Cumbria’s economy and younger people in particular are becoming increasingly conscious of living a more sustainable lifestyle – not only for their personal wellbeing, but for the heath of their children and many more generations to come. It was a pleasure working with Chloe and look forward to welcoming her again in the future”.

Chloe’s blog attracts around 185,000 views per month, with 430,000 views of her video content on YouTube. In addition, Chloe also enjoys a social media following of nearly 50,000 people.

You can see Chloe’s video on golakes.co.uk here and find all of Chloe’s social media links via her blog, here.

The government’s recently announced sector deal has set out its ambition to make the UK the most accessible tourism destination in Europe by 2025 and with Purple Tuesday highlighting the growing need for change, Cumbria Tourism is supporting next month’s brand-new Tourism for Everyone Conference.

Held at the Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa on the 3rd December and with key speakers from VisitEngland, the Calvert Trust and Lakeland Arts, the event will feature presentations and workshops designed to help tourism businesses increase their awareness of the needs of the customers and how they can change their business practices to better accommodate them.

20% of visits to the county already include at least one member with additional needs and this figure is expected to rise, particularly with the government’s plans projected to increase the number of disabled international visitors by a third.

Justin Farnan, Sales and Marketing Manager at the Calvert Trust, which won the 2019 Cumbria Tourism Award for Accessible Tourism, will be showcasing the Trust’s disability-focused service as a case study for other tourism businesses to take inspiration from. Justin says “As an organisation focussed on providing activity breaks for those with disabilities we’re fully committed to making Cumbria and the Lake District as accessible as possible. Irrespective of whether the disability is physical, learning or sensory – or a combination of all three – we know that a visit to such a beautiful area can have a real therapeutic benefit. A little thought and understanding into how to make an activity, attraction or accommodation unit supportive of visitors with disabilities, and their carers, goes a long way. With over 40 years of operational experience we know first-hand that making your business truly disability-friendly delivers great levels of repeat business as well as bringing in new customers”.

Event organiser and advocate for increased accessibility provisions across Cumbria and beyond Julia Walker from Lake District Mobility says This event is a fantastic opportunity for businesses. Attendees will have a chance to hear first hand personal and business experiences on seen and unseen disabilities.

“20% of tourism visitors to Cumbria include somebody with a disability and this figure is expected to increase in the near future. Therefore, it’s vital that hotels, restaurants and attractions right across the county ensure that they’re open and welcoming to all potential customers. Disability comes in many forms, some more visible than others, and there are many things businesses can do to make peoples’ stays easier and much more welcoming, increasing the chances of them returning again and again.”

Recent successes within the county include the installation of a Changing Places bathroom at the National Trust’s Fell Foot site on Windermere as part of a National Heritage Lottery Fund project within a Grade II listed boathouse – the first of its kind in the Lake District National Park.

Cumbria Tourism will also be increasing awareness around the county’s accessible offering around the event of Purple Tuesday (12th November) for visitors with blog posts and social media highlighting activities suitable for visitors with a wide range of additional needs.

Business representatives can sign up for the event online by visiting www.cumbriatourism.org/shop/access-for-all-conference or by calling Sam Tollerson on 01539 822 222. Tickets cost £20 + VAT.

Fire safety is a key priority for any business and it is vital that you conform to all current legislation.

Please click HERE for a letter regarding your responsibilities regarding the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

If you require any information regarding your responsibilities and best practices please feel free to contact Beatrice Hooson at bhooson@cumbriatourism.org.

Useful resources:

Choosing a Fire Risk Assessor

Example Fire Safety Notice

Example Night-time routine

 

Quality Cumbria

Quality Cumbria is our local quality assessment scheme. It was developed through VisitEngland to recognise and drive up standards of accommodation in Cumbria in 2006 and is now one of the most popular accreditation schemes in the county.

Quality Cumbria properties are assessed per accommodation criteria of safety, cleanliness, comfort and are fit for purpose. The QC scheme does not include stars or require overnight accommodation for assessment. All accommodation providers who meet the Quality Cumbria standards are committed to quality improvements.

For more information on Quality Cumbria please click HERE.

The new English Lake District India Forum, set up by Cumbria Tourism to bring together businesses and target international visitors from the fast-growing Indian market, now consist of just under 30 businesses representing accommodation, attraction and transport providers.

Alongside VisitBritain, CT will be leading on an India Mission for January 2020 which members of the Forum will be attending. The mission presents an important opportunity to showcase the Lake District, Cumbria in India and establish new relationships with the Indian travel trade, tour operators and travel agents from across the key source cities of Mumbai and New Delhi. The visit will also feature networking opportunities for forum businesses with key operators in both cities.

Ongoing marketing activities targeting the market include a brand new India landing page and content collation featuring a region cuisine map designed to appeal to this market’s key drivers. Alongside Marketing Manchester as part of the India Campaign Partnership we are also developing a selection of targeted destination content communications including WhatsApp Marketing and newsletters to Indian travel trade databases, as well as highlighting products within travel trade product lists.

For more information on the Forum, please contact the team on campaigns@cumbriatourism.org.

Help us market Cumbria as #theplacetobe

There’s still time to get involved with our #theplacetobe campaign which runs through to the end of March. The campaign is designed to showcase Cumbria as a year-round destination and increase occupancy rates during the traditionally quieter periods.

We have a wide range of partnership opportunities available, designed for all types and sizes of business. Featuring press and PR, social media, digital marketing and more a partnership is a cost-effective way of highlighting your business to potential guests looking to book a winter break.

Give your business a boost with Golakes banner advertisements

We also have a limited number of December web banner advertising spaces available on Golakes, including key landing pages. Book now for December and we can offer the rest of November free, giving you 7 weeks for the price of 4.

A banner ad can help your business stand out against the crowd as customers browse for Christmas inspiration. Spaces are all available on a first-come, first-served basis, so contact us today for details of available banners and prices.

Black Friday marketing

Are you planning any special Black Friday deals? The Cumbria Tourism web team are planning to make the most of this event with a dedicated email to our full visitor database of 105,000 subscribers in the days leading up to Friday the 29th November. With a strong call to action and a short time for customers to book this is the ideal opportunity to spread the word to new and existing customers. For advertising rates and further information please contact website@cumbriatourism.org.

What Is SECR?

Introduced in April 2019, Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (or SECR) is a new framework, which requires businesses to report annually on their electricity, gas, and transport energy use, along with the associated carbon emissions.

The introduction of SECR coincides with the ending of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Scheme, which some companies will already be familiar with, although the qualification criteria is very different and will affect many more organisations. The idea is that the new guidelines will create a simple approach to carbon reporting, whilst also encouraging energy efficiency.

Business and industry accounts for 25% of UK greenhouse gases, so it’s crucial that businesses play a role in helping to reach our emissions reduction target.

Who Does SECR Affect?

The Government estimates that around 11,900 organisations fall within the scope of SECR. The new reporting framework is mandatory for the following organisations:

All UK quoted companies, meaning a company…

  • whose equity share capital is officially listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange; or,
  • is officially listed in a European Economic Area State; or is admitted to dealing on either the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ.

Any large UK incorporated company or LLP which meets 2 or more of these conditions…

  • has more than 250 employees
  • has an annual turnover of more than £36m
  • has an annual balance sheet total of more than £18m

What Do I Need to Report?

Under SECR guidelines, you’ll need to provide a detailed report on your company’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1 and scope 2), alongside details of the energy efficiency actions you’ve put in place during the reporting period. If you haven’t made any efficiency measures, you’ll need to state this.

Quoted companies also need to report global energy consumption in addition to the mandatory carbon reporting they have already been completing.

All companies must also provide an intensity metric relevant to their business sector. For example, if you’re a manufacturer, you may choose to report tonnes of CO2 equivalent per million tonnes of production. For those in retail, you might report tonnes of CO2 equivalent per m2 of store area.

When and How Do I Submit My Report?

The timeframe for SECR reporting runs in sync with your company’s financial year, meaning that if your business is within scope, you’ll need to report from the start of your first accounting period starting on or after 1st April 2019.

In terms of submission, SECR forms part of your business’ annual reporting obligations, so your energy data must be included within your Directors’ Report and submitted to Companies House in the usual way. LLPs will need to prepare an Energy and Carbon Report for each financial year, to be signed off by LLP members.

Benefits of Carbon & Energy Reporting

Organisations can sign up to SECR voluntarily and there are several benefits to taking a proactive approach. Saving energy is an effective way to reduce business costs, save carbon and help to meet emission targets. SECR can also be used by businesses to promote their sustainability credentials, as part of their wider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Penalties

Companies House may reject your report if it doesn’t meet their reporting requirements. As with all company reporting, fines are in place for late or incomplete submissions, with fines of up to £1,500 for reports which are more than six months late. The penalty will be doubled for those who report late for two years in a row.

The bigger incentive, however, is expected to be the reputational damage that will come from late or missing reports.  This may well impact on future business opportunities, particularly given the significant focus now being given to carbon reporting and carbon neutrality targets.

Although many companies are familiar with a certain degree of energy reporting, we would urge members to seek expert advice to ensure they remain 100% compliant.

To find out more about how Inspired Energy can help you, get in touch…call 01772 689 250, email partnerships@inspiredenergy.co.uk or visit inspired-referral.co.uk

Inspired Energy plc is the leading utilities Third Party Intermediary (TPI) in the UK, helping businesses to optimise the value of every pound spent on utilities. Utility bills form a large part of a company’s overall costs, and as energy prices continue to rise and new legislation is introduced, it’s important to look for ways to become more efficient. Inspired Energy share their top energy-saving tips, to help bolster your business’ green credentials and save you money.

 

Create a Utility Plan

Having a clear picture of your utility consumption is the first step to efficiency. A comprehensive utility plan, which includes information on consumption and contract renewal dates, can help you pinpoint your efficiency goals, and prevent you from falling foul of default rates, which are often poor value.

We understand that time is precious for business owners and many don’t have time to focus on their utility usage.  In fact, a 2018 report from Ofgem showed that 53% of businesses hadn’t engaged in the energy market during the past 12 months. Working with a credible intermediary gives you access to energy experts who understand the complexity of the utility market, so you don’t have to. We track electricity, gas and water prices on a daily basis and will search the marketplace to find the right contract to suit your business’s needs.

 

Switch on to Smart Lighting

Lighting makes up a large proportion of a building’s electricity use, so a few small changes can make a world of difference. Consider switching to energy-saving LED lights, which use up to 90% less energy than traditional lighting. Of course, in an ideal world, everyone would switch lights off when a room is not in use, but by installing motion sensors, you can make sure that unoccupied areas aren’t being lit unnecessarily.

 

Get Smart Meter Savvy

Using a smart meter gives you control over your utilities by allowing you real-time access to your usage in pounds and pence.  A smart meter will take meter readings, so you don’t have to, and you’ll only be billed for the energy you use – no more estimated bills! We work with suppliers that offer free smart meters and can arrange installation for you.

 

Get Staff on Board

Getting the workforce engaged is crucial to an energy efficient workplace. It might sound simple but encouraging behavioural changes can make a big impact. Try creating promotional posters to get staff involved with energy saving measures like switching off equipment. For example, turning your printer from standby to off overnight for a year could reduce your CO2 by as much as would be produced by a driving from Cambridge to Paris and back again.

 

It’s also important to educate staff on the scale of the issue. Staff who are aware of the importance of sustainability and the role they can play are more likely to take a responsible approach to consumption.

 

Go Green with Renewables

Economic and legislative pressure has led to more and more businesses investing in renewable energy products, with 80% of businesses planning to generate a quarter of their electricity on site by 2025.

On-site generation brings many benefits but is not practical for all businesses. As independent industry experts, we can guide you through the process, checking what is feasible within your organisation and finding the best solution for your business.

 

To find out how Inspired Energy plc can help your business become more energy efficient, get in touch… call 01772 689 250, email partnerships@inspiredenergy.co.uk or visit inspired-referral.co.uk

Hot on the heels of England being named as the second-best country to visit worldwide in 2020, Cumbria Tourism says there are fresh opportunities to grow international visitor markets post-Brexit.

Lonely Planet has just unveiled its ‘Best in Travel 2020’, with England scooping the silver spot (second only to Bhutan). Amid the continuing uncertainty of Brexit, the renowned travel guide publisher says “timeless treasures” such as historic castles, quaint villages and rolling countryside are still big draws for international visitors – all features the Lake District, Cumbria has in abundance.

Meanwhile, it’s predicted that a post-Brexit fall in the value of the pound could make it cheaper for overseas visitors to travel to the UK, as well as making overseas travel more expensive and prompting more UK residents to choose staycations rather than holidaying abroad.

We are encouraging businesses to diversify their international markets and consider overseas visitors from beyond Europe, including core markets such as the USA and emerging audiences including India and China.

Our Sales & Marketing Manager, Sue Clarke, believes tourism and hospitality businesses should continue to feel confident about targeting international markets – whatever the eventual outcome of Brexit.  She says, “Significant work is already being done to attract international visitors. Lake District businesses have been working in Japan for more than 25 years and great work has also been done to develop the China market.  Most recently, Cumbria Tourism has identified India as a key emerging market. If you aren’t currently working with international markets, our advice is always pick the ones that are relevant for YOUR business; this may be an EU country, or it might not be. Don’t avoid targeting European markets if they are actually the best fit for you.

She adds, “We should also remember that domestic visitors are Cumbria’s core market. We’ve seen that people are holding off foreign holidays, so now is the perfect time to capitalise. If people are worried about the financial implications of European holidays post-Brexit, businesses should consider what they can do to make it easy and attractive to the domestic market. We would always recommend you promoting the destination first, and then individual businesses. Inspire your audience, then reassure them about accessibility and ease of travel.”

Our 2020 holiday guide will showcase the very best of the Lake District, Cumbria to potential visitors from around the UK and internationally. Have you secured your place in this iconic publication?

Building on the guide’s previous success we will be expanding content to make sure we reach and appeal the full range of potential visitors. The best selfie locations for that perfect Instagram shot will be featured as well as a celebration of events to mark the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth.

The guide will highlight the best experiences the area has to offer alongside accommodation to suit every desire and budget. Our marketing team will be happy to discuss your unique needs and specifications in further detail, either by email or phone.

Our annual amateur photography competition is in full swing, with four stunning images in contention for the coveted front cover. Have you cast your vote? Share the competition with your guests and followers to make sure the winner truly represents how our visitors see our county.

Cast your vote