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.”

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