Our Winter Marketing Campaign, which ran from November 2018 until the end of March 2019 has reached a staggering 34 million and we are pleased to share the results with you.

The campaign, now in its third year, aimed to challenge the perceptions of the Lake District, Cumbria, during a traditionally quieter time of year and to market the county as an all-year-round destination. We have worked with a number of key sponsors and partners who have helped to support the campaign.

Highlights include:

  • A combined social media reach of more than 26 million including #cumbriaday, which reached an estimated 16.5 million people on Twitter in less than 48 hours
  • More than 1.3 million eNewsletters sent to potential visitors promoting Cumbria as a world-class winter destination
  • Press coverage reaching 5.7 million
  • National press coverage including features in: The Express, Irish News, The ‘I’, Sunday Times Travel, Sunday Post and Telegraph online

 

A diverse range of marketing and PR activity helped us to promote Cumbria as a winter destination and to encourage longer stays. Working with Countryfile Magazine, the campaign included an inspiring four-page feature in the magazine’s February edition, highlighting a range of events and celebrations that our world class destination has to offer for 2019.

A key element of the campaign included the business support toolkit exclusively available for our members. Resources included a collection of stunning and thought provoking #theplacetobe campaign imagery using quirky straplines to challenge perceptions of our destination. We also produced a series of itineraries and content to help inspire visits, from itineraries focusing on our marketing areas to celebrating Cumbria’s key themes including food and drink, adventure, culture and heritage to name a few.

 

Golakes Card & Club

Following the support and success of Love Cumbria in previous years, the scheme was redeveloped and rebranded to the Golakes Card for the 2018-19 season. The winter-focused Golakes Card, available online and through participating businesses (plus complimentary cards for bookings made through Golakes throughout the campaign), offered exclusive discounts across our breath-taking region and was valid for a two-week period to help inspire and encourage visitors to explore Cumbria’s vibrant offerings over the course of their visit.

As a wider part of this initiative, we are also delighted to launch the Golakes Club. The Lake District, Cumbria, has a loyal and frequent tourist base visiting regularly throughout the year and we have met and spoken with people from across the country at multiple trade and travel events this year who enjoy visiting the destination time and time again. We therefore identified an opportunity to create the club as both a thank you as well as an incentive to keep visitors coming back again and again.

The Golakes Club is not just a discount card, but an annual membership, encouraging regular visits and promoting the opportunities available across Cumbria throughout the year. The scheme offers our members the exclusive opportunity to reach tourists with enticing offers and incentives. There is still time to get involved- to pledge your offer, please complete and return the booking form to campaigns@cumbriatourism.org

 

We are already looking ahead and beginning to put plans in place to boost our county’s profile during the traditionally quieter months – please contact us for more information.

Following Cumbria Tourism’s recent appearance and championing of rural tourism at a special public hearing in the Houses of Parliament, we are delighted to see that the Government has now formally recognised the importance of tourism to the rural economy.

A report just published by the Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy is recommending the creation of a specific Rural Strategy. It also says that the new Tourism Sector Deal has the potential to provide a more consistent and systematic support to our sector.

The news comes after our MD Gill Haigh was invited to give evidence at Westminster last autumn, alongside a panel of other experts on tourism and rural heritage issues. It was part of a programme of public hearings the Lords Select Committee ran to learn more about the key issues and challenges relating to the rural economy.

Gill’s session focused on the contribution of tourism to local economies and communities in areas such as Cumbria. Skills, employment and Government policy around tourism featured in the session, as well the potential impact of Brexit and infrastructure and planning issues.

 Gill says, “As one of the largest Destination Management Organisations in the UK, lobbying national decision-makers is a core part of the activity we undertake on behalf of our members and we are delighted to see that the Government is now taking positive action to prioritise the rural economy. We need to keep the pressure up at the highest-level to ensure Cumbria is in the mix and we can collectively make the most of new opportunities, particularly around the new Tourism Sector Deal.”

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.

Following this work, Cumbria Tourism has now become a destination partner with Marketing Manchester on an India campaign for 2019/2020 financial year and hopefully beyond. The India Forum will help to guide this work and decide what activity is undertaken in addition to make the most of the opportunities for this growing market, at a time when there are more routes into the UK than ever and in anticipation of the extensive coverage that hosting the Cricket World Cup will generate.

 

How to get involved and next steps

Cumbria Tourism, with the help of the strategic partnership programme, has already been able to secure the funds to buy into a campaign partnership with Marketing Manchester. We are asking businesses who want to be involved in the forum for a contribution of £300 +VAT for the first 12 months. This will allow the forum to look at other opportunities outside of the Marketing Manchester campaign partnership, produce collateral and to have a working budget.

We are looking to set this group up now in order to make the most of the upcoming opportunities, therefore please get in touch with the team if you wish to join. If you would be interested in being a steering group member, we are seeking members who have experience or are excited about this market, willing to put the time and effort in and feel they can play a very active role in the forum. We are looking to have the first steering group meeting week commencing 20th May, with the first full meeting of the forum shortly after.

 

If you are interested in joining or finding out more about the forum, please contact the team on campaigns@cumbriatourism.org

Cumbria Tourism are revamping the conference page listings on Golakes and are now pleased to offer a FREE listing to all our members

Advertise your business’ conference facilities, bookable meeting rooms or function space simply by completing our simple online form.

If you have any questions please contact Sam at stollerson@cumbriatourism.org