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Five accommodation providers across the county have been nationally recognised by Visit England for providing outstanding customer service.

Yewfield in Hawkshead, Lyzzick Hall Hotel in Keswick, The Homestead Lodge in Windermere, Blencowe Hall in Penrith and Brambleside in Allonby all received VisitEngland’s ROSE (Recognition of Service Excellence) Award for 2017 at the Independent Hotel Show in London yesterday.

The ROSE award is designed to showcase those establishments that provide the warmest of welcome and where the owners, managers and staff really know how to delight their customers, irrespective of their star rating, style or type of accommodation.

The winners were nominated by VisitEngland quality scheme assessors and selected from assessor comments and online feedback from overseas and domestic visitors.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh said: “It’s brilliant to see so many tourism businesses being recognised for quality accommodation and customer service in Cumbria, it’s this dedication that makes Cumbria a world-class destination to both domestic and international visitors.

“In 2016, more than 45 million people visited Cumbria and its businesses providing the best customer experience combined with our unique landscape and quality attractions that interest this number of visitors.”

To find out more about staying in Cumbria or to book accommodation visit www.golakes.co.uk

Sam Tollerson with the new Mycumbria van

Residents’ reward scheme heads into local communities

Cumbria Tourism’s MyCumbria local discount card scheme is continuing to expand and will be heading into local communities over the coming weeks with its new-look electric van, to promote a range of discounted days outs – all purely for people living or working in Cumbria.

MyCumbria, which celebrates its fifth birthday this year, recognises the important role that residents play in supporting the county’s thriving tourism economy and now has more than 240 unique residents’ offers for a diverse variety of pubs, cafes, restaurants, tourist attractions and retailers throughout the county.

As well as providing great savings for individuals, the card is a practical way for residents to support local jobs and businesses.

Hot on the heels of a revamped MyCumbria website, Cumbria Tourism’s electric van has just had a special makeover and will be heading to local shows and events to spread the word about the benefits on offer for local people. (The van will also be used by staff for short day-to-day journeys as a more sustainable way of getting around).

Sam Tollerson, from Cumbria Tourism’s Business Development team says, “Cumbria Tourism’s role is to support our visitor economy, and the MyCumbria scheme is all about recognising the people who live and work here too. MyCumbria has continued to grow and grow over the past 5 years, and it is a great way for locals to show their support for the tourism businesses which form such an important part of our communities.

Sam adds, “Many of our local hospitality businesses are providing offers that you won’t find anywhere else, so it really is a great scheme for cost-conscious families, especially in the run-up to Christmas.”

A small sample of current MyCumbria offers include:

  • 2 for 1 Afternoon Tea at Lakeside Hotel & Spa
  • 2 for 1 cinema tickets on selected days at Plaza Cinema in Workington, The Royalty in Bowness and The Roxy in Ulverston
  • 15% off Forest Segway at Whinlatter Forest, Keswick
  • 50% full return fare for up to 2 people at Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
  • 2 for 1 entry to Senhouse Roman Museum, Maryport
  • 20% off 2 hour Tree Top Trek, Brockhole
  • 25% off admission to Carlisle Castle

 

For £20, MyCumbria card-holders have access to 240+ deals and offers for an entire year.

To purchase or renew a MyCumbria card, visit us at http://www.mycumbriacard.co.uk or call 01539 822222.

Cumbria Tourism Logo

Cumbria Tourism is urging businesses to complete a survey capturing the current successes and challenges facing the county’s £2.72 billion tourism sector. The results will help ensure the organisation can better support the industry and underline Cumbria’s status as a world-class visitor destination.

The ‘Tourism Business Health Check’ aims to find out how the sector is performing, and gives tourism businesses the chance to comment anonymously on the issues and trends affecting trade, ranging from concerns about Brexit negotiations to the importance of the new Carlisle Lake District Airport and the impact of the Lake District’s newly confirmed World Heritage Status.

The latest research being co-ordinated by Cumbria Tourism focuses on the last six months (April – September 2017) and will be used to benchmark the county’s long-term performance. The organisation will also use the results to identify key issues to raise and work together with policy and decision-makers to ensure a continued strong visitor economy.

Cumbria Tourism is currently distributing the anonymous survey to tourism businesses.

Research Manager, Helen Tate, says, “This regular health check of the county’s tourism businesses is really important for helping us to understand all the key issues affecting trade – both positive and negative. The survey is quick and easy to complete, and allows us to build a clearer picture of current and emerging issues, so we can keep supporting the industry and continuously improve as a world-class visitor destination.”

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, adds, “Our research function is one of the key activities which distinguishes us as Cumbria’s official destination management organisation and we are proactively seeking evidence from tourism businesses to understand the changing needs of the sector. The answers to these in-depth questions will be a very important and rich source of data, which will help determine how we can best support businesses in the coming months and years.”

The six-monthly ‘Tourism Business Health Check’ is just one area of regular research undertaken by Cumbria Tourism as part of its role as the county’s official destination management organisation. Other analysis by the research team includes monthly occupancy surveys, county-wide visitor surveys, regular analysis of accommodation stock and data collection from Tourist Information Centres and visitor attractions.

For more information on Cumbria Tourism’s research programme, contact Research Manager, Helen Tate: htate@cumbriatourism.org

Lakes Hospitality Trade Show

Cumbria’s longest-running trade show is expanding for 2018, thanks to a new partnership between the Lakes Hospitality Association (LHA) and Cumbria Tourism.

The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show was established more than 30 years ago and is now one of the longest-running events of its kind in the North of England, committed to re-investing profits back into the tourism industry.

As part of a brand-new agreement, the LHA is joining forces with Cumbria Tourism – the county’s official destination management organisation – to host the next Lakes Hospitality Trade Show on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March 2018.

Free to attend, the two-day event at the J36 Rural Auction Centre is expanding to include an even wider range of hospitality businesses, including tourist attractions, food and drink suppliers and support services such as IT technology and catering equipment.

For the first time, the show will also include a series of interactive workshops run by Cumbria Tourism aimed at giving participants a new insight into topics including digital marketing, PR and new data protection regulations.

James Tasker, a Director of the Lakes Hospitality Association, says, “The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show has a fantastic heritage and has built up a strong reputation for giving business-owners and decision-makers direct access to a range of products and services which can help them grow and develop. It’s important that the show continues to evolve, and we are teaming up with Cumbria Tourism to help diversify what’s on offer to businesses and reach further into new and emerging markets.

“Our ultimate aim is to make the 2018 Lakes Hospitality Trade Show the biggest and best yet, so we can re-direct profits from the event back into the hospitality sector. Most recently, the money generated has helped to ensure that the Windermere Tourist Information Centre remained open, and we are committed to providing that practical support that the industry needs.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, comments, “The new partnership between the Lakes Hospitality Association and Cumbria Tourism is an exciting development, which will bring a fresh dimension to an event which has continued to grow and expand over the past three decades. The Lakes Hospitality Association is well-regarded by businesses and we believe that working together will help us to provide the maximum impact and support that our vibrant and diverse tourism sector deserves.”

To find out more about exhibiting at the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show on 7 and 8 March 2018, contact Show Co-ordinator Sarah Tasker on: 015394 44495 / 07709 152398 / sarah@lakeshospitalitytradeshow.co.uk.

The long-running Lakes Hospitality Trade Show for business providers, suppliers and supporters should not be confused with the similarly-named North West Hospitality Show taking place at the same venue in early 2018; this is a completely separate event.

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The Lake District has retained its name as one of the most prestigious foodie destinations in the UK, as well as being the best in the whole of the North West.

 

Cumbria’s position on the nationwide food map has been bolstered this year with The Forest Side at Grasmere and Hrishi at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House in Windermere retaining their one star, together with Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cartmel continuing to boast two Michelin Stars.

Since setting up L’Enclume in 2002, restaurateur Simon Rogan has been honoured by the Michelin Guide every year since 2005. Last year saw newcomers Gilpin Hotel & Lake House and The Forest Side gain their star for the first year.

Michelin star restaurants lure gastronomes from all corners of the globe and are famed for offering the crème de la crème of eating and dining experiences – particularly with international visitors.

While Cumbria is one of England’s largest counties it is also one of its least urbanised making its culinary prowess even more significant.

To celebrate the outstanding food and drink offering in Cumbria, Cumbria Tourism has launched their annual Food and Drink Guide. Introduced by restaurant proprietors, Liam and Kath Berney of the 3 AA Rosette The Cottage in the Wood near Keswick, the Food and Drink Guide showcases some of Cumbria’s best restaurants, pubs and local producers. A go-to guide for visitors coming to Cumbria the Food and Drink Guide is distributed across the county as well as within a two and a half hour driving distance for visitors on their way to the county.

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “To have such a concentration of food excellence in the area is a prestigious honour for Cumbria’s restaurant industry. It also means our visitors and residents have the luxury of choice for somewhere special to dine that is among the most select company in the country.

As well as quality restaurants, Cumbria is renowned for its original produce; Herdwick lamb, Cumberland sausage, sticky toffee pudding and Grasmere Gingerbread.

The Food and Drink Guide is a staple publication for the millions of visitors coming to Cumbria each year and we’re proud to produce the extensive guide with our members.”

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Fell Foot Park on the shores of Lake Windermere is to be transformed, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of around £684,000 made possible by National Lottery players.

The news, announced by Heritage Minister John Glen while on tour of Cumbria today, will mean that the National Trust, owners of the site, will be able to restore key elements of this much-loved country park as part of a six-year wider National Trust masterplan to turn Fell Foot into a flagship destination in the North.

Visited by over 150,000 people a year, this popular but under-resourced park originally formed the majestic grounds of an early 19th Century Lake District villa landscape, framed by crags, ancient woods and water on the south-east shore of Lake Windermere. While the villa has long since gone, its boathouse complex (one of the largest surviving in the Lake District) and arboretum remain, and it is these historic features, along with restoration of the parks landscape and improved visitor access, that National Lottery funding will benefit.

Fell Foot features sweeping lawns, rowing boats, a café and shop. Activities currently include wild play, family camping, swimming and running events. The park is one of the few places where the public can access the southern half of England’s longest lake, now in a new UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Fell Foot project will involve the conservation of five boathouses, making them flood resilient and suitable as multi-use community spaces. The Gasometer Cottage will be restored to provide office space and a reception area, the arboretum and park landscape restored (including new pathways and better drainage), while access to the waterfront will be improved and visitors will be able to enjoy new sheltered spaces and play facilities. The National Trust will also create four new jobs and 8 volunteering roles to run the project.

Heritage Minister John Glen said: “This funding is wonderful news for Fell Foot and will help transform the park, preserve the stunning arboretum and restore its beautiful historic boathouses. Our heritage should be open to everyone and, thanks to National Lottery players, this project will enable even more people to discover and enjoy the fascinating stories that can be found here at Fell Foot.”

Nathan Lee, Head of HLF North West, said: “This is excellent news not only for Fell Foot Park, but the Lake District and Cumbria as a whole, and I’m delighted to be here today with Heritage Minister John Glen to welcome the news. Thanks to National Lottery players, we can now preserve these wonderful boathouses, secure the long-term future of the arboretum, and provide employment and volunteering opportunities for the community. We are really excited about this project which we hope will see many more people discovering and enjoying the fascinating stories that can be found at Fell Foot.”

Mike Innerdale, the National Trust’s Assistant Director of Operations for Cumbria and North Lancashire said: “We’re thrilled that the National Lottery is supporting our vision for Fell Foot. We want to provide exceptional opportunities for people to re-connect with each other and the great outdoors, and make precious memories for generations to come. For nearly 70 years local people have been coming to enjoy access to the lake, the wonderful views and the parkland. This funding will help us tell the extraordinary story of Fell Foot, provide access to new areas, respond to winter flooding and lift the visitor experience to a new level.”

Heritage Minister John Glen also visited National Lottery funded projects at the Wordsworth Trust and the Windermere Jetty Museum while in Cumbria.

Cumbria Tourism Logo

Tourism and the rural economy will come under the spotlight over the next two days, as Minister for the Arts, Heritage & Tourism, John Glen MP, heads to Cumbria to visit the newly designated Lake District World Heritage Site and hear first-hand from a range of business about what it means to them.

The visit (on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September) has been arranged by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), in conjunction with Cumbria Tourism and the Lake District National Park. It will showcase one of the country’s most popular visitor destinations and the evolving cultural landscape and heritage which helped secure the accolade of UNESCO World Heritage Site status this summer.

Arriving in the county today, Mr Glen will start his tour by visiting two National Trust properties – Claife Viewing Station, Windermere, and Hill Top – and The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. Later, he will attend a private dinner at the Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite, alongside representatives from key organisations involved in the Lake District’s successful World Heritage bid.

On Friday, the Minister will sail on Ullswater and tour a National Trust tenanted farm at Glencoyne.  He will also meet with rural stakeholders before visiting Another Place for a lunch with Cumbria Tourism members and partners to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the visitor economy in the county.

Later in the day he will tour the site of the new ‘Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories’ and meet representatives from Cumbria’s strong cultural sector, to discuss a broad range of key issues.

John Glen, Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister, said, “The Lake District National Park is an amazing landscape that blends the preservation of stunning scenery with a modern and thriving tourism industry. World Heritage status was the culmination of years of dedication and it has been fantastic to see how local people and businesses are working together to capitalise on this achievement and raise the profile of the Lakes around the world.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, said, “As well as celebrating World Heritage Status, this visit is a key opportunity for Cumbria Tourism and its partners to meet directly with a key influencer at government level. On behalf of our 2,500 member businesses we will be proud to help showcase the unique and vibrant identity and tourism offer of the Lake District and Cumbria as a whole, as well as to explore opportunities and barriers to future growth with the Minister. It is vital that the tourism sector works closely with industry to influence national policy-makers and ensure that regional and national decision-making and infrastructure supports the needs of our £2.72billion tourism economy.”

Chairman of the Lake District National Park Partnership, Lord Clark of Windermere, said: “We are delighted to welcome the minister to the UK’s newest World Heritage Site. It’s an opportunity to explore with government how we manage the challenges and opportunities that come with looking after such an iconic, yet constantly changing, landscape for the future benefit of everyone who enjoys this special place.”

Cumbria in Bloom

Tourism businesses have made their mark at this year’s ‘Cumbria in Bloom, Pride in Your Community Awards, following a special ceremony this afternoon, Thursday 21 September.

Cumbria in Bloom encourages people to celebrate the county’s horticultural delights and Cumbria Tourism has backed three special awards for the county’s tourism businesses to showcase their floral prowess.

Judges from the Cumbria In Bloom committee visited applicants over the summer, and the winners were unveiled today at The Golf Hotel in Silloth. The results of the botanic battle in the tourism categories were unveiled as:

  • Cumbria Tourism Chairman’s Trophy (for B&Bs and guesthouses)
    • Runner-up: Three Shires Inn, Little Langdale
    • Winner: Ann Tyson’s House, Hawkshead
  • Jackie Sanderson Trophy (for hotels)
    • Runner-up: Lakeside Hotel & Spa
    • Winner: Cedar Manor Hotel, Windermere
  • Rose Bowl (for visitor attractions, tourist information centres, caravan parks, and self-catering providers)
    • Joint Runners-up: Castlerigg Hall Caravan & Camping Park and The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
    • Winner: Holgates Caravan Park, Silverdale

Cumbria Tourism Board Member, Haydn Spedding says, “Cumbria Tourism is proud to support Cumbria in Bloom in its dedicated work, which brings our communities together and enriches our world-class destination for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. Following news of the Lake District’s World Heritage Status, it is fitting that we should celebrate some of those tourism businesses which contribute so much to our renowned cultural landscape. Congratulations to this year’s winners!”

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Cumbria Tourism’s new Managing Director Gill Haigh has taken up her role at the helm of the county’s official tourism destination marketing organisation today, Monday 18 September 2017.

Cumbria’s tourism sector is worth more than £2.72 billion to the local economy – supporting around 63,000 jobs – and Cumbria Tourism is the county’s largest membership organisation representing 2,500 tourism businesses.

Gill Haigh joins the organisation following her most recent role as Director of Marketing and Recruitment at the University of Cumbria. During her 25 year career in marketing and communications, she has gained substantial leadership experience across both the private and public sectors, including travel and tourism.

Gill says, “I’m proud to be taking up this new role at one of the leading destination marketing organisations nationally. Potential visitors have ever more choice about where to spend their time and money, but there are many opportunities too.

That is why it’s so important that Cumbria Tourism continues to deliver on its incredible track record of attracting visitors to the county and supporting businesses through its range of digital, marketing, research and PR support services.

“One of my top priorities will be looking at how we reach out to new and emerging markets both domestically and internationally, drawing on the kudos of having two World Heritage Sites in the county. It is also essential that the organisation continues to work together with the industry to influence key policy-makers and ensure that regional and national decision-making and infrastructure supports the needs of our £2.72billion visitor sector.

“I will be getting out across the county in the coming weeks to meet with Cumbria Tourism members and to listen to their views. I am looking forward to working with a range of businesses and other strategic partners to help devise new ways not just to attract visitors, but to encourage them to stay longer, explore more and increase their spend.”

Gill lives near Kirkby Lonsdale with her husband and two children. Her previous jobs include a senior local government position, heading up destination marketing and tourism services for Lancaster City Council. She also spent four years as North West Public Relations Manager for the National Farmers’ Union, having begun her career as a journalist.