Bank Holiday Rail Closures

We have recently written to Network Rail regarding recent announcements over plans to close Cumbria’s two main rail lines over the Easter and May Bank Holiday periods.

We understand that this is a key issue for our members, with a recent Cumbria Tourism survey reporting that 45% of tourism businesses suffered due to transport issues. With so much of our county’s economy relying on visitors travelling to the area sustainable travel is a key factor and it is essential that we are able to offer a consistent and reliable rail service that tourists feel confident to use.

We will continue to monitor and speak against this and other similar issues on behalf of our members.

 

Brexit

Cumbria Tourism continues to take action to urge Ministers to ensure post Brexit immigration proposals do no damage the county’s £2.9b tourism sector.

Back in October, following the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee recommendations and new restrictions for low skilled and low paid workers, Cumbria Tourism wrote to all 6 MPs and the Tourism Minister calling on their support to ensure the county’s unique labour demand needs are understood and met. It has subsequently given evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee,  met directly to DCMS and shared it deep concerns with the policy department at Visit Britain.

With no sign of any relaxation to the proposed regulations Cumbria Tourism will continue to work with key partners locally, nationally and regionally to stress the urgent case for reconsideration.

The Cumbria Tourism team recently attended a sales mission to New York and Boston to represent England’s World Heritage Story.

The £250,000 Discover England Fund project, led by Cumbria Tourism, tells the story of England’s culture and heritage through the medium of the North’s outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The project has partnered with Mountain Goat to curate five itineraries showcasing visits to England’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites and their close proximity, with no more than a 90-minute drive separating one from its nearest neighbour.

The team had a busy schedule of meetings with US travel agents, product managers and operations staff and highlighted the new bookable itineraries as key experiences to inspire visits to the North of England and its World Heritage sites, both as part of existing packages and brand new offerings. The sales mission was also a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness for the North of England and Cumbria as an easy-access destination

The sales mission also presented a good and very important opportunity to raise awareness for the North of England as an easy access destination which can be reached by direct flights from the US into Manchester and is also conveniently just three hours from London and two hours from Edinburgh by train.

This trip forms just one key part of the programme’s activities. The team have also attended Holiday World (Ireland’s largest travel show) in Dublin, and Britain and Ireland Marketplace in January, along with the UK Inbound Convention in February. These events are key dates for travel trade buyers and tour operators planning their itineraries over the next 18 months and offer many opportunities to promote the project as well as the full Cumbrian experience.

The six sites involved in the project are:

  • The Lake District National Park
  • Hadrian’s Wall
  • Durham Castle & Cathedral
  • Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Gardens
  • Saltaire
  • Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City

 

Learn more at www.englandsworldheritagestory.com

The Cumbria Tourism team, alongside other North-West DMOs and film offices, took part in a live Twitter chat showcasing the region as a prime filming location.

The chat, hosted by Creative England, drew attention to high-profile film and TV productions based wholly or partly in the North-West (including Star Wars, Peaky Blinders, The Trip and more) as well as highlighting the wide range of locations on offer for future projects. Cumbria Tourism was a key part in the chat, working alongside our local DMO partners to ensure the highest possible reach. Overall, the chat’s #filminNWEngland hashtag reached almost 2 million individual accounts through 5.7 million impressions, with Cumbria Tourism’s accounts accounting for 20% of these.

Film production companies using Cumbria and the wider region as a location not helps to raise our profile by featuring locations on the big screen, an ideal hook for nearby businesses to use in their branding. More directly, the hosting of production crews is big business, with 2,600 on-location days in the North-West bringing an estimated £28,268,500 to the local economies.

The chat was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with partners and draw attention to a different aspect of the tourism industry – we’re looking forward to working together again in the near future to highlight the North West as a destination for visitors from all backgrounds.

Missed the chat? Catch up with the highlights HERE.

To learn more about how your business can make the most of Cumbria’s film heritage, and for more information on how to be considered for future filming opportunities, contact Jonny Winter at jwinter@cumbriatourism.org.