Over 80 people attended VisitBritain’s Taking England to the World event at the Roundthorn Country House Hotel last month for a day of expert training on becoming international-ready.

Developed as part of the Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund, it was fantastic to see so many of our members making the most of this event as it travelled to the county.

If you’re interested in making your business more attractive to overseas guests, or you’re looking to expand further into this market VisitBritain have also produced a FREE inbound tourism toolkit, available for download HERE. If you require further assistance our expert international team can help – please contact Francine at fbult@cumbriatourism.org

Cumbria Tourism is representing our members at a series of travel trade shows this autumn to forge one-to-one relationships on your behalf and put our region at the forefront of their minds. We will be also be gathering valuable information about the latest travel trends and market insights from a range of tourism specialists.

This week the team is at VisitBritain’s annual International Business Exchange (better known as ‘VIBE’), forging links with operators from across the globe. Then it’s the turn of the Group Travel and Leisure Show, where we will be representing tourism businesses in partnership with Northern Print Distribution (NPD).

That’s followed by World Travel Market in November – a huge three day event at ExCeL London, which brings together almost 5,000 exhibiting companies and more than 51,000 visitors.

The activity follows a summer of attendance at large-scale visitor events, such as the prestigious Chatsworth Country Fair, where the CT team promoted the Lake District, Cumbria, as a ‘must see’ destination.

Cumbria Tourism’s PR Team was back in London last week to promote everything The Lake District, Cumbria has to offer all year round – to more than 20 international markets.

The annual ‘PR Connect’ event offers destinations like ours the chance to stand alongside many more from across the UK, highlighting what’s new and exciting in the coming months.

One-to-one meetings were held between Cumbria Tourism and VisitBritain representatives from all over the world, including Australia, the US, China, India and many European countries including Germany, Spain, France and Italy.

In all, 22 meetings were held at the top of London’s Millbank Tower to discuss how to strengthen tourism links with our international friends, through the use of effective PR by working with writers who are always on the lookout for a great destination to visit.

While visitors from such a wide range of countries have differing needs, wants and expectations – and to varying degrees, a series of themes emerged during the meetings – including a common desire to help the environment by getting to (and around) Cumbria by using only sustainable methods of transport.
Our team also noted increasing levels of interest in lesser-visited towns and villages around Morecambe Bay and along Cumbria’s west coast – with western Europeans particularly keen to ‘see life through the lens of a local’.

Above all, Cumbria Tourism is delighted to report that the county is viewed by all markets as a destination that’s suitable for all lifestyles, tastes and budgets and we look forward to devising itineraries for VisitBritain’s chosen travel writers, photographers, bloggers and vloggers throughout 2020 and beyond.

Come along to a presentation with Regalo’s Harriet Russell on Wednesday 30th October at 1pm to find out more.

You might have already heard about our exciting partnership with Regalo, an online gift voucher platform, but if you haven’t… Regalo provides growing hospitality businesses an easy and effective way to sell gift vouchers online and generate direct revenue.

As members of Cumbria Tourism, you have the opportunity to sell gift vouchers directly through Golakes, which attracts 19 million page views per year.

Harriet Russell, Account Director at Regalo, said: “I can’t emphasise enough how key the next three months are in terms of potential revenue generation for businesses. Around 70% of all gift voucher sales are made in the last quarter of the year, so any business which is not already offering gift vouchers is missing out on a very easy, and potentially large, additional stream of revenue”

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, told us: “We’re excited to be approaching our second Christmas with Golakes vouchers. Throughout the year, we receive extremely positive feedback from our members, but we know that the winter months are a crucial time for voucher sales. We are increasingly proud to offer Regalo as one of our member benefits. So, I would highly recommend coming to Staveley on the 30th October to listen to Harriet’s presentation, see the platform in action, and let her answer any questions you may have.”

Keswick Alhambra are Cumbria Tourism members who signed up to Regalo just before last Christmas and have been delighted with the product.

“It’s such a great way for people to introduce our cinema to friends and family who might not have been before. We’ve generated sales we might have never made with Regalo and had people find our website through theirs. We’ve found that people are buying last-minute birthday and special occasion gift vouchers for us from Regalo. It’s a great, instant present, and those who get the vouchers are delighted with them!”

For more information on Regalo now, visit regalo.gifts or contact Harriet on 07484 880 175 or email harriet.russell@regalo.gifts 

 To sign up for this event or learn more about it please email Beatrice Hooson at bhooson@cumbriatourism.org.

 

 

As the final countdown to Brexit continues, the organisation representing Cumbria’s tourism businesses says it’s more important than ever for businesses to contribute to vital research   capturing the current successes and challenges facing the £3billion industry.

With the prospect of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on 31 October still a very real possibility, Cumbria Tourism says the uncertainty around a wide range of Brexit-related issues is having a major impact. However, with other destinations nationally also vying for government attention, it needs first-hand evidence from tourism operators to continue making the county’s voice heard the highest level.

Cumbria Tourism carries out a ‘Tourism Business Health Check’ every six months to find out how the sector is performing, but never before have the responses been so useful for supporting the future direction of Cumbria’s visitor economy.

The organisation’s latest health check covering April-September 2019 is carried out in association with asset and wealth management specialists, Lamont Pridmore. It also includes new targeted questions around skills, staff retention and inclusivity – all hot topics as Brexit looms ever closer.

The survey gives people the chance to comment anonymously and although it only takes 5-10 minutes to complete, it provides rich data which Cumbria Tourism can use to help make the county’s case for future investment, strategy and business support, as well as informing key partners such as local authorities, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Lake District National Park in their work on behalf of the sector.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “As we approach the great unknown of Brexit, there has never been a more important time to work together to gather up-to-date, accurate feedback from businesses. This survey is quick and easy to complete, and by taking part, businesses are helping us to continuously improve as a world-class visitor destination and sustain almost 65,000 full and part-time jobs across the county.

  “Just this week, we have seen the House of Lords’ Select Committee debating the importance of tourism to the rural economy.  It follows an earlier session at Westminster where I was invited to join a panel of experts giving evidence about the current and emerging issues faced by our industry. This is a prime example where we can use research gathered from businesses here in Cumbria and feed it directly into our lobbying work with national decision-makers.       

 “With the continued participation of businesses in this survey, we can keep up this type of pressure to strengthen not just the visitor economy, but Cumbria’s economy as a whole.”

 Chief Executive of Lamont Pridmore, Graham Lamont, says, “Cumbrian businesses are facing growing uncertainty around the implications of Brexit, regardless of whether the UK leaves with or without a deal.  Not knowing what lies ahead in terms of legislation, tariffs, supply chains and staffing makes it challenging for small business to plan and successfully mitigate against. 

“It is increasingly important that businesses complete Cumbria Tourism’s Business Performance Survey.  It will provide the team with a robust understanding of issues and present a firm evidence base from which to lobby for change and increased support for the county’s tourism industry.”

 Complete the survey here now.