Cumbria Tourism is working in partnership with Barrow & Furness MP John Woodcock to hold a special summit this month where tourism businesses across Furness will be urged to work closer together to showcase the opportunities on offer for visitors all year-round.

The event on April 26 will welcome tourism industry officials from across Barrow and the Furness peninsula, as well as key figures who have played pivotal roles in the success of tourism elsewhere in Cumbria.

Speakers at the event in Ulverston, include John Woodcock MP, Cumbria Tourism’s Managing Director Gill Haigh, Carl Bevan of Associated British Ports, Susannah Bleakley from the Morecambe Bay Partnership and Maddi Nicholson from Art Gene. They will also sit on a panel for open-floor discussions and a Q&A segment. ‘Break-out’ sessions will also be held in smaller groups, each led by a panel member.

Mr Woodcock says, “Furness is bursting with attractions and places of real interest and beauty, but the peninsula can easily fall below the radar, even for those people who are looking for a different way to experience our wonderful county. In recent years we have seen strong tourism growth in other areas outside the Lake District, with Carlisle performing particularly well for example. I believe Furness is more than capable of mirroring that improvement and a louder voice should help the area to achieve that.”

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, says, “Our most recent analysis confirms 3.1 million people visited Furness in 2017 and while that is an increase on visitor numbers from the year before, it is the smallest rise of all the Cumbrian districts. I strongly believe that increase isn’t representative of what Furness has to offer and is capable of achieving.

“The gateway to Furness is only 15 minutes away from the Lake District and there is plenty to enjoy during a visit lasting several days or longer. Places like Furness Abbey, Piel Island, the Dock Museum, South Lakes Safari Zoo, Walney Island, Sandscale Haws nature reserve and stunning coastal walks all contribute to great getaway experiences. I had a similar message at a tourism summit for Copeland in February this year and once again, I’m very much looking forward to joining John Woodcock MP and our other key speakers at this one.”

The Furness Tourism Summit will be held on Friday 26th April between 10am and 1pm in the Williams Room at Ford Park at Ulverston. Places must be reserved by Thursday 18 April by emailing your interest to

Cumbria Tourism convened a meeting with Cumbria County Council and representatives of businesses affected by the Windermere Ferry disruption.

It was a constructive meeting that, amongst other things, discussed how to improve ferry resilience, stakeholder engagement and also opportunities to improve marketing of the service and join up marketing with areas and products it connects with. CT and CCC will be meeting over the coming weeks to help progress some of the actions.

For updates regarding Windermere Ferry please visit the council’s Facebook page and other social media.

Viewpoint, our regular print members’ newsletter, will shortly be on its way to tourism businesses across Cumbria.

As well as being packed full of the latest news and updates from Cumbria Tourism, there is also the opportunity to advertise relevant services to our membership, with prices starting from just £250 + VAT.

Half and full page options are available, with additional opportunities for cover features on request.

To learn more please contact Sarah Glover at

It’s been another exciting and productive month for Cumbria Tourism’s PR team, with great destination coverage generated in print and online media right across the country and beyond.

Sunday Times Travel did a great feature focussing on the Lake District’s cultural offering, while Cadence magazine paid a visit to the Coniston and Hawkshead areas to write about the western side of Windermere as a cycling destination. Further regional coverage for the South Lakes came in the form of a feature in Surrey Life magazine and syndication across Newsquest’s Yorkshire and Scotland titles.

The Yorkshire Post took us up on our offer to visit South Cumbria – outside the Lake District boundary, featuring towns and villages like Milnthorpe, Arnside and Cartmel, while People’s Friend magazine produced a lovely feature about the Settle to Carlisle railway route following a visit organised by Cumbria Tourism’s PR team last year.

The North Lakes, Penrith and Carlisle got fantastic coverage in national title The Irish News, with Lowther Castle even gracing the cover of the travel supplement. Carlisle was again featured nationally following a pitch by Cumbria Tourism to The I newspaper. A trip down the Cumbrian coastline by rail formed the basis of the article, which – despite delays caused by a landslide, resulted in a really positive piece of coverage for the west coast, taking in areas like Maryport, St Bees and Ravenglass.

Across the pond, American magazine ‘Postcards’ magazine worked with our PR department for a food & culture feature.

English Tourism Week (30th March – 7th April 2019) is an annual celebration of our industry across the country.

The event campaigns to raise the profile of the tourism industry and its many benefits as well as celebrating the countless hardworking people who make it such a success. It has been fantastic to see so many businesses across Cumbria taking part in the celebrations and raising awareness of how much they offer.

Cumbria Tourism worked with VisitEngland, local instagram groups and adventurer and “Mountain Man” James Forrest (famous for ascending every mountain in England and Wales in just six months)  recently to kick off the celebrations with an ‘Instameet’ Microgap adventure near Keswick. Almost 40 instagrammers were led by the record-breaking mountaineer on a mini-adventure up Catbells, taking in the scenery before receiving a private talk from James about his record-breaking achievement.

This Instameet, which took place in conjunction with similar events across the country, was a fantastic way to celebrate and raise awareness of microgapping, short UK-based breaks incorporating the same experiences and adventures of a traditional gap year, as well as kickstarting English Tourism Week. With over 50,000 reached through our own social media channels, not including the content produced and shared by the participants, the hike targeted a key demographic and showed the adventures possible in Cumbria.

The day wasn’t just proof that you don’t need to take time off work or travel far to find adventure, it also highlighted just how special the Lake District and Cumbria are to so many people, with many travelling from across the country to take part in the event.

Click here to view highlights of the event.


Cumbria Tourism has also been using the hook of English Tourism Week elsewhere to market the county as a destination, ideally timed as we move into the Easter holidays and towards the busy summer period. Our  visitor-facing social media and Golakes Blog have been featuring the very best our county offers, including a focus on the county’s west coast, part of our strategy to direct visitors to explore beyond the traditional “honeypot areas”.

Learn more  about English Tourism Week 2019 on the VisitEngland website.

Cumbria Tourism’s Bernard Gooch Award, named in honour of the first chairman of our Commercial Members Committee, annually celebrates outstanding contribution to tourism.

The individual or team will be selected for the award in recognition of their outstanding contribution over and above their normal duties to the visitor economy in Cumbria. Previous winners have included: Sir Chris Bonington, previous CT MD Ian Stephens and The Queen’s Guide to the Sands, Cedric Robinson.

Our executive board are currently deliberating the recipient of this year’s award and would welcome suggestions from the wider membership – please send any suggestions to Sarah Glover (

Cumbria Tourism is planning to launch a new ‘India Forum’ to help businesses make the most of the UK’s growing appeal to Indian visitors.

With their love of culture, heritage and the natural landscape and with England and Wales hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup this summer it’s the perfect time to capitalise on the fast-growing Indian market.

We have already been working with Marketing Manchester in recent months to help promote the county out in India and have met with tour operators and travel agents face-to-face. We now want to continue and grow the work already started and are inviting businesses who are interested to join a new India Forum.

If you are interested on joining or finding out more, please register you interest by contacting the team by Friday 19 April

England’s World Heritage Story: The North is a Destination England Fund (DEF) project designed to raise awareness of and increase visitor numbers to the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites of northern England via the creation bespoke, bookable itineraries of between one and five days.

Led by Cumbria Tourism and inspired by the 2017 awarding of UNESCO World Heritage status to the Lake District National Park, the project aims to highlight northern England’s deep contribution to the world’s cultural patrimony.

The other sites included in the project are Hadrian’s Wall (the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire); Durham Castle & Cathedral (a soaring cathedral that was the prototype for the Gothic style); Studley Royal Water Park & Fountains Abbey (a stunning example of the English formal style built around the evocative ruins of a 12th-century Cistercian abbey); Saltaire (the idealised version of a 19th-century industrial village built around what was once the world’s largest factory); and Liverpool, Maritime Mercantile City (the birthplace of the modern port and the Beatles).

This business engagement toolkit will be made available to you very soon, along with a set of branding guidelines and some bespoke video and photography.

In order to help local businesses clustered in and around the world heritage sites, the project has worked with the world heritage coordinators and commissioned a series of business engagement toolkits designed to help local businesses make full use of their connections to their respective world heritage sites. This includes information on the significance of world heritage status, how world heritage status can benefit you and how to effectively market that connection to your client base.

In the meantime, if you would like any more information please contact