Recruitment and skills challenges are our members’ number one concerns.

That’s why Cumbria Tourism has been lobbying extensively to influence the forthcoming immigration system.

However, last week’s Government policy announcement has stated there will be no ‘general low skilled or temporary work route’ for the tourism and hospitality sector and foreign languages do not appear to be included in the new points based system.

We have already raised serious concerns that this fails to understand our county’s unique recruitment challenges and that if implemented would cause significant damage to our £3bn industry. We have secured a place as part of a small working group, including UKinbound and other tourism and hospitality associations, and are collaborating on a campaign to ensure that Government understands the pressures that the industry, and in particular Cumbria, is under in terms of recruitment and retention which will only be exacerbated by the end of Free Movement.

We now have just a short window of opportunity to demonstrate the impact, and your evidence is critical to help us illustrate our points strongly and clearly.

As one of the leading destinations in the UK this research, supported by our partners Lamont Pridmore, will become part of our lobby to local MPs and to Government to get this initial policy changed for the benefit of Cumbria and the UK.


  1. Take survey

We are currently focussing on promoting internal staycations, particularly themed around cosy themes and aimed at couples (older and younger) and families with older children. This content will appear throughout our digital marketing, including our upcoming new website. If your business offers experiences or activities which fit in with these themes please contact us to learn more about how to get involved.

Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Low level walks
  • Fireside pub meals
  • Spa days
  • Afternoon teas (sweet and savoury)
  • Stargazing
  • Shared cosy experiences

To learn more email or call the team on 01539 822 222.

It’s official – Cumbria is cool! National Geographic Traveller UK ranked the county as the fourth coolest global destination earlier this month, highlighting our three new Michelin starts (bringing our total to an amazing seven) and the celebrations taking place throughout the year in celebration of Wordsworth’s 250th birthday.

CT press trips to Carlisle and Hadrian’s Wall have also resulted in print coverage, with a February feature in The Sunday Post’s focussing on our Border City and Roman heritage. Another Scottish paper, The Herald, also showcased the county’s heritage to tourists north of the border and Daily Telegraph readers looking for a weekend itinerary were spoilt for choice thanks to a 48 hour guide to the Lake District we arranged.

Cinemagoers will also catch a glimpse of the county over half-term. Released last week, Dolittle starring superstar Robert Downey Junior shot scenes in and around Kirkby Lonsdale. We’ve managed to spot the market square in the trailer, where else do you recognise? Film and TV productions don’t just inspire viewers to follow in the footsteps of their favourite productions, hosting crews brought an estimated £1million into the county’s economy in 2019 according to Creative England.

Press coverage and features highlighting Cumbria as #theplacetobe to readers are secured in different ways. Sometimes it’s through visits from journalists, bloggers and influencers experiencing Cumbria’s delights first-hand, and at other times it’s through the drip feed of content and ideas our PR team provide behind the scenes.  If you are interested in hosting any future press visits, or if you have some upcoming exciting news please let us know by emailing

Cumbria Tourism is continuing its efforts to influence the Government’s Immigration Policy.

It is asking Government to recognise the catastrophic effect of a reduced EU labour pool and to ensure the county’s unique set of circumstances are accounted for.

The industry supports 67,000 jobs and at the same time Cumbria has almost full employment. In South Lakes, the area that houses the majority of the Lake District National Park, there are less than 300 unemployed claimants.

It is also projected that the working population (16-64) will shrink by between 1,500-2,000 pa by 2030. Your evidence, via the last Cumbria Tourism Business Performance Survey, demonstrates that the recruitment issue is becoming increasingly urgent with 77% of respondents stating recruitment is a problem and retention an issue for 48%.

The Migratory Advisory Committee, which is advising Government, recently recommended pilots of special visas for ‘remote areas’, something Cumbria Tourism has been calling for since 2017.

To strengthen its voice further Cumbria Tourism has now taken up a place alongside national bodies including UK Hospitality, UKinbound, The Tourism Alliance, ABTA and ETOA and is working with them to ensure the tourism sector’s needs in terms of the forthcoming Policy and Cumbria’s special case is understood and fully considered.

Last week Cumbria Tourism members met with Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, Tim Farron, to seek his continued support in helping make the case with Government that reducing the ability for EU nationals to work and settle where would cause major issues,  limiting businesses who could otherwise expand.

Cumbria Tourism continues to be in close communication with VisitBritain to monitor the situation surrounding Coronavirus. It is clearly a fast-moving situation and, alongside other north west Destination Management Organisations, we are working together to understand how this may be affecting/affect your business.

To find out more, we have produced an easy to complete online survey. Your support in completing a few simple questions will provide us with the evidence we require to share the latest information from Cumbria to VisitBritain and other government bodies.

  1. Take Survey

Lamont Pridmore says there are big savings to be made

One of Cumbria’s leading accountancy firms Lamont Pridmore is calling on individuals to review their investment and pension plans to make sure they are making the most of the opportunities on offer.

As the country approaches the end of the tax year on 5 April 2020, savers must take full advantage of the allowances and reliefs on offer.

A wide range of tax-free allowances are available, including the £2,000 dividend allowance, the £12,000 capital gains tax annual exemption, £40,000 annual pension limit and the £20,000 ISA savings allowance.

The full list of reliefs and allowances is dauntingly huge and optimising the use of these allowances is fraught with complexity and opportunities to make errors.

Depending on an individual’s circumstances, it can be worth either bringing forward or deferring dividend payments from a company to make the best use of the dividend allowance this year and next year.

Similarly, deciding which tax year in which to dispose of an asset that is subject to capital gains tax can make a big difference to the overall tax rate.

There is also a wide range of allowances relating to pensions and savings that can further optimise a person’s tax position, as well as specialist reliefs for married couples.

In particular, individuals can save up to £40,000 a year towards their pension tax-free, but many fail to realise that unused allowances in previous years can be carried forward so that more can be saved in a single year.

Graham Lamont, Chief Executive at Lamont Pridmore, said: “At this time of year we all think about our New Year’s resolutions, but It is also a good time to start planning your tax affairs before the end of the tax year on 5 April.

“An obvious tax planning point for most individuals would be to maximise their ISA allowances for the 2018/19 tax year, which currently sits at £20,000 per person.

Chris Lamont, a Partner at Lamont Pridmore, added: “There is a myriad of reliefs available to taxpayers to help them maximise their income each year and with a Budget just around the corner, the Government is likely to announce several changes that could make certain forms of saving more lucrative.

“That is why it makes sense to seek out professional guidance before the end of the tax year and have your finances reviewed.”

Honister Slate Mine are inviting hotel and guest house front of house staff to experience their product for free between the 3-9th February 2020 for front of house staff working in hotels and guesthouses. Staff with a strong knowledge of the area’s attractions are better equipped to recommend different activities or things to do depending on their guest’s interests.

Up to two staff members from each business will be able to book on to the all-weather experience which will include a Mine Tour, a taster of the Via Ferrata Extreme or a Climb the Mine taster. There will be chance to explore the site with its outdoor sculptures, shop, café and dramatic views.

To book your place contact Honister Slate Mine direct by emailing

Packed full of itineraries, attractions and accommodation tour 2020 Holiday Guide boasts 100 pages of inspirational content to attract new and repeat visitors to the county.

Printed by CT members Bucket & Spade and with a more magazine-like style complemented by high quality images, the guide taps into the growing desire for more experiential holidays and encourages readers to plan and book their break through our new Visit Lake District, Cumbria website (coming soon).

Thank you to all businesses who have advertised in the year’s guide, your support and content help make our printed guides such successes. Copies are distributed in key locations across the North West by our partners Northern Print Distribution and we’ve already received requests to ship guides internationally to potential overseas visitors.

For more information about our full range of printed publications and advertising opportunities please contact the team at

Download a copy HERE

Looking to grow your international business? Keen to increase your sales through a wide range of distribution channels? Tourism Exchange GB has been developed to help you do just that.

Tourism Exchange GB is a B2B platform which links your availability, pricing, and bookings, with a range of Distributors, chosen by you, and all managed in one place.

What are the benefits of joining?

  • Increased exposure for your product, backed up by Cumbria Tourism’s year round destination marketing activity.
  • One stop exchange – manage availability, pricing, content and bookings in one place
  • Real time transfer of information
  • Free to join
  • Comprehensive sales reporting
  • Create free booking pages for your own website
  • No booking, no fee (pay 2.5% + VAT booking fee plus commission of your chosen Distributors)

What distribution channels are available?

These are growing all the time, but currently include the following:

Accommodation: Ctrip, Agoda,, Expedia (and 19 related distributors) and Trivago

Attractions: VisitBritain Shop, TripAdvisor & Viator (and over 50 related distributors including Flight Centre, & Etihad Airways) Marketing Manchester and HTS Touristik.


 How do you get connected?

Visit to and follow the link to apply now.

If you have already have a booking system which is connected to TXGB (e.g. Bokun, Digitickets, Trekksoft, Anytime Booking) then you will be able to connect automatically with our connection wizard. Otherwise the TXGB support team can help you get connected via TX Load


With you every step of the way …

Our 24/7 support team is on hand to help make connection as quick and simple as possible. Whether you have a quick question or would like us to set up your business with you, the team is committed to providing as much support as you need.

You can contact the team on or on 0330 223 5050



Get in touch. We’ll help get you connected. And help your business put Cumbria on the map!


If it worked for them …

National Forest E-Bike Holidays

“Having utilised the TXGB system to take payment for a booking, I’m really excited by its potential and can see how it will help reach overseas customers, as well as providing an efficient payment tool for UK guests. 

As a small business offering electric bike cycling holidays, this professional booking and payment system, which can dovetail into my existing business model is fantastic.. I’m certain that TXGB will become an integral part of my business model and strongly recommend it to other small tourism businesses.”

Sue Jerham, Director

Scranchester Tours

“I have found the process of using TXGB very straightforward and any queries I’ve had have been answered fully and promptly by the support team. The process for setting up my tours and managing my availability on TXGB load is easy and uncomplicated. The fact that in the future I will be able to integrate my ticketing provider with TXGB means that I will be able to manage my allocations in real-time from one place, which will make the whole process even easier. Linking up my Stripe payment account could not have been easier.

I have been operating my food tour business for less than two years. TXGB allows me, as a small business, to access platforms and to make links with travel trade which in the past would not have been possible. I am excited to see the platform grow and develop, and can thoroughly recommend it to other tourism businesses.”


Rob Kelly, Director