A major survey is being launched across The Lake District to gauge opinion on a charitable donation scheme using contactless debit and credit card machines, in addition to the more traditional coin-slot collection boxes.

Along with its partners the Lake District National Park (LDNP) and Cumbria Tourism, the Lake District Foundation (LDF) is asking for views on whether such a system would be beneficial to its fundraising efforts.

The LDF raises money through donations before distributing to projects which care for local landscapes.

The idea is part of the ‘Rethinking Parks’ programme by NESTA, a global innovation foundation which supports new ideas to tackle 21st century challenges.

Sarah Swindley, Director of the LDF, says, “It’s really important that we hear from as many people as possible. We know that people love the Lake District and want to help us look after it. We also know that people are carrying less cash with them and we are keen to understand how new technology can help.”

The proposal is to help people who wish to donate money for local projects to do so – under no pressure; and even if they don’t have any coins on them.

The survey will also ask about people’s donor habits, the kind of projects they’d like to donate to and the kind of messages participants think should feature on the donation points themselves to maximise their intended effect.

Following the survey, the LDF hopes a test scheme may begin in the summer – hopes echoed by the Lake District National Park.

Liam McAleese, Head of Strategy and Partnerships for the LDNP, says, “We welcome the idea of helping our visitors donate more easily towards the National Park. New technology, such as contactless donations, will bring an exciting new option for the millions of people who enjoy the Lake District every year to put something back and help us keep this place special.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Together with the Lake District Foundation and Lake District National Park, we’re really excited to be part of this project exploring new fundraising territory by looking at how technology can make donating to worthy causes as simple as possible.

“When asking our visitors to part with their money, we understand the process needs to be quick, simple and convenient. We welcome all views on how best to embrace this technology and all our findings will be used in helping to form the next stage of how funds can be raised efficiently and securely, while respecting the locations of where this technology may be positioned.”

The survey was sent out to subscribers to Cumbria Tourism’s mailing lists in mid-November and is also available online here.

You can find out more here.

Internationally renowned designer Wayne Hemingway will be the keynote speaker at Cumbria Tourism’s next Members’ meeting later this month, which is exploring future trends and innovations in Cumbria’s visitor sector.

Carlisle Lake District Airport will be the venue for the special event on Wednesday 21 November. Sponsored by the University of Cumbria, it aims to inspire people to find new ways to innovate and stay competitive in a sector worth £2.9billion to the county’s economy.

Wayne Hemingway MBE co-founded fashion label Red or Dead and Hemingway Design, after turning a market stall into a multi-million pound company.  He is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cumbria and is currently working with Carlisle City Council to deliver a new ‘garden village’ south of the city as part of their ambitious housing and development growth agenda.

Well known as a passionate and thought-provoking speaker, Wayne says, “Creating powerful new ideas and concepts is vital for any business, regardless of the sector. Cumbria is a special place for me, so I’m pleased to be heading to the county this November to share some of my thoughts and experiences of innovation in the business world and hearing from Cumbrian businesses about what they’re doing to break new ground and forge ahead in a challenging and competitive economic climate.”

Alongside Wayne, the event will feature speakers from Foresight Factory, which works with VisitEngland to research visitor trends at a national level. They will be sharing their latest analysis of visitor behaviour; explaining what it means for Cumbria’s tourism sector and sharing their thoughts on how businesses here can make the most of new and emerging opportunities.

Another key speaker will be the Director of the Lake District Foundation, Sarah Swindley, who will be exploring how technology can motivate and increase visitor giving. Sarah will be unveiling details of an innovative project for 2019 to test out how this could work in Cumbria. There will also be the chance to hear from Cumbria Innovations Platform – part of the University of Cumbria – and how it can support small businesses and tourism suppliers.

Finally, with Carlisle Lake District Airport ready for take-off next Spring, there will be an update from Kate Willard from Stobart Group and the offer of a VIP tour of the facilities for all attendees.

Our Business Development Manager, Sarah Glover, says, “We’re excited to welcome some inspiring and insightful speakers for what promises to be a jam-packed event, not least the internationally renowned Wayne Hemingway.  This is also an important opportunity for tourism businesses from across the county to come together to hear the latest on the sector, to network and to get the latest updates from Cumbria Tourism on our recent results and activities.”

Cumbria Tourism members can book up to two free places at the Members’ Meeting by contacting Sam Tollerson: stollerson@cumbriatourism.org / 01539 822222.

With half-term over and the darker nights setting in, we are today unveiling a five-month campaign to promote the county as an all-year-round visitor destination.

Our programme of seasonal marketing activity reached a combined audience of more than 32 million last winter, including the full spectrum of social media, travel features in national newspapers and 1.9million eNewsletters to targeted customer databases.

With huge potential to grow the seasonal visitor economy when Cumbria has the capacity to accommodate additional visitors, the latest phase of #theplacetobe campaign again aims to drive much-needed trade during the winter months and encourage longer stays across the county.

This year’s innovations will include the launch of the new ‘GoLakes Club’ – a new annual membership club which encourages visitors to stay loyal to Cumbria with a range of exclusive discounts and flash sales all year round.

It will run alongside the newly redeveloped ‘GoLakes card’, which is a visitor rewards card offering special deals over a two week stay between now and the end of March. The card will be available to purchase on GoLakes with complimentary cards being given to visitors that book through the site during the winter period.

An important part of the #theplacetobe message will focus on older couples who are less constrained by family routines and are more likely to visit midweek, as well as the younger ‘buzz seekers’ who enjoy outdoor challenges and outdoor experiences during the winter.

With 14 million page views every year, golakes.co.uk will be the central focal point for visitors to book their winter breaks and access seasonal offers for accommodation and events.  At the same time, Cumbria Tourism is developing targeted content to help inspire winter visits on social media and through a programme of press trips with national travel writers.

To support tourism businesses, a winter toolkit is being made available with ideas, itineraries and imagery they can use on their own websites and marketing channels. Cumbria Tourism is also partnering with individual businesses to offer them more tailored packages of support during the low season.

Head of Marketing and Sales, Rachel Tyson, says, “Winter trading is vital for our local economy and communities, helping to create and maintain all year-round employment for many people. Cumbria is one of the few rural and coastal destinations to attract people all year-round, so a high-impact campaign is vital to maintain visitor confidence and cement this trend during a traditionally quieter time of year.”


Interested in getting involved?

Visit www.cumbriatourism.org/theplacetobe to learn more

The introduction of new non-stop flights from Mumbai to Manchester Airport is a great opportunity for Cumbria’s £2.9billion visitor economy.

The first Jet Airways service linking the Indian sub-continent with Northern England arrived in Manchester on Monday 5 November 2018.  Flying five times a week, it’s hoped the new connection will both support trade and encourage more leisure visitors from the world’s fastest growing economy.

Our Managing Director Gill Haigh attended a special VIP event at Manchester Airport to mark the inaugural flight. She believes the Lake District and Cumbria will have a huge appeal to potential new visitors heading to Northern England from one of India’s major cities.

Gill says, “Research carried out by our colleagues at VisitBritain has shown that Indian visitors are attracted to culture, heritage and the natural beauty of the landscape – qualities which Cumbria has in abundance. With the lure of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a world-class reputation as a visitor destination, we have a compelling message to tell. Together with new and expanded services from the USA later in 2019, it’s an exciting time for developing some of our most important overseas markets!”

Ahead of the launch, we worked closely with a range of organisations to help nurture new relationships with potential new Indian visitors. For instance, our PR team co-ordinated a visit for key influencers and journalists in conjunction with VisitBritain India, including a content producer developing a video for Jet Airways’ in-flight entertainment.

The Cumbria Tourism team has also recently taken part in two large-scale events in Manchester to meet with Indian tour operators and overseas tourism contacts face-to-face, and is working on a new marketing campaign alongside Marketing Manchester to make the most of the new flights. The news comes ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup which takes place in England and Wales next year and is expected to be a massive draw for Indian sports fans.

Cumbria Tourism championed the voice of rural tourism at a special public hearing in the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 30 October 2018.

Our Managing Director, Gill Haigh, was invited to give evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy alongside a panel of other experts on tourism and rural heritage issues, including VisitBritain and The National Trust as part of a programme of public hearings the Select Committee is running to learn more about the key issues and challenges relating to the rural economy. The session focussed on the contribution of tourism to local economies and communities in areas such as Cumbria.

Skills, employment and Government policy around tourism were all expected to feature in the session at the Palace of Westminster.  Other themes covered included the impact of Brexit, as well as infrastructure and planning issues.

The hearing also explored the support and advice available to rural tourism and heritage businesses, as well as the potential opportunities within the Government’s plans for local industrial strategies to strengthen the tourism industry in the UK.

Gill says, “Cumbria’s £2.9billion visitor economy supports almost 65,000 jobs, making it a key employer and a vital part of the county’s future growth and prosperity.

“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 2,500 tourism member businesses and we are proud to have been given this opportunity to highlight some of the issues and challenges faced by these businesses on a day-to-day level.”

Gill was joined on the panel by VisitBritain’s Director of Strategy and Communications, Patricia Yates, and the South West Regional Director of the National Trust, Rebecca Burton.


To view the proceedings please click HERE.

Cumbria is proving it’s the place to be once again, with the publication of an all-new guide dedicated to the county’s dog-friendly accommodation and attractions.

30,000 copies of the pocket-sized ‘Dogs Love Cumbria’ guide have been produced by Cumbria Tourism especially for people who don’t want their four-legged friends to miss out on their next holiday or day trip.

More than a quarter* of households across the UK have a dog in the family, putting pet-friendly queries among the most frequent types of enquiry from potential visitors.

Our latest campaign is expected to get tongues – and tails – wagging, with the best of what the county has to offer for dogs compiled in this single, handy guide.

Our Managing Director, Gill Haigh, says, “Our new guide summarises just how dog-friendly our beautiful county is, and we felt it was hugely important to show what a dog-friendly destination we are. They are, after all, part of the family, so why should they miss out on a great day out, or indeed the holiday of a lifetime?”

Waternook lakeside accommodation is one of the tourism businesses to feature in the guide. Owner Dominic Gordon says, “For us, our dogs form a vital part of the family. They’re loving, loyal to a fault, and bring so much happiness into our lives. We would never leave them at home when we holiday in the UK and I believe this is the same for the millions of loving dog owners around the country. The Lake District, Cumbria, is the perfect place to holiday year-round for all the family – especially for ‘man’s best friend’”.

Responsible dog ownership is a key part of the guide, especially during lambing season, when dogs should be kept on leads. Owners are also urged to always make sure they clean up after their dogs in a responsible manner, so the county remains clean and safe for others to enjoy.

You can download a copy of our ‘Dogs Love Cumbria’ guide on Cumbria Tourism’s official visitor website, GoLakes.

Cumbria Tourism – the county’s official Destination Management Organisation – is planning to emulate the 25 million reach achieved in last year’s winter marketing campaign with the launch of a FREE marketing toolkit to support its 2,500 member businesses through the winter months.

The toolkit comprises a wide range of marketing resources including striking imagery and seasonal itineraries for businesses to integrate within their own marketing, to promote themselves and Cumbria as an all-year-round visitor destination.

The toolkit is available to download as part of Cumbria Tourism’s Winter marketing campaign that runs until mid-March 2018, and supports the trade through to the crucial Easter holidays. The aim is to showcase the wide range of events and attractions people can enjoy throughout the winter, by sharing content, images and itineraries to inspire staycations and drum home the message that visitors are welcome at any time of year.

Early indicators show this year’s campaign is already performing particularly strongly with visitors to the winter section of www.golakes.co.uk up compared to the the same period last year.

PR successes continue to gather momentum with national travel reviews featuring in The Independent, Evening Standard, The Times and The Sunday Post Scotland promoting Cumbria as the ideal winter destination.

Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism says: “We are committed to supporting our wonderful tourism businesses during the winter months. Cumbria Tourism is leading this bold high profile national reaching campaign which has real resonance with our target markets. Alongside this our free toolkit is specifically designed to provide practical advice and sharable content for businesses to use and add even more impact for themselves and Cumbria.”

For the second-year businesses are also able to be part of ‘LoveCumbria’, the winter rewards card for visitors. Businesses can put forward offers to the scheme or they can use the cards to encourage winter trade.

If you are interested in finding out more about the work Cumbria Tourism delivers to promote the destination and how to join as a member, please call 01539 822222 or visit www.cumbriatourism.org

Cumbria’s longest-running trade show is expanding for 2018, thanks to a new partnership between the Lakes Hospitality Association (LHA) and Cumbria Tourism.

The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show was established more than 30 years ago and is now one of the longest-running events of its kind in the North of England, committed to re-investing profits back into the tourism industry.

As part of a brand-new agreement, the LHA is joining forces with Cumbria Tourism – the county’s official destination management organisation – to host the next Lakes Hospitality Trade Show on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March 2018.

Free to attend, the two-day event at the J36 Rural Auction Centre is expanding to include an even wider range of hospitality businesses, including tourist attractions, food and drink suppliers and support services such as IT technology and catering equipment.

For the first time, the show will also include a series of interactive workshops run by Cumbria Tourism aimed at giving participants a new insight into topics including digital marketing, PR and new data protection regulations.

James Tasker, a Director of the Lakes Hospitality Association, says, “The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show has a fantastic heritage and has built up a strong reputation for giving business-owners and decision-makers direct access to a range of products and services which can help them grow and develop. It’s important that the show continues to evolve, and we are teaming up with Cumbria Tourism to help diversify what’s on offer to businesses and reach further into new and emerging markets.

“Our ultimate aim is to make the 2018 Lakes Hospitality Trade Show the biggest and best yet, so we can re-direct profits from the event back into the hospitality sector. Most recently, the money generated has helped to ensure that the Windermere Tourist Information Centre remained open, and we are committed to providing that practical support that the industry needs.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, comments, “The new partnership between the Lakes Hospitality Association and Cumbria Tourism is an exciting development, which will bring a fresh dimension to an event which has continued to grow and expand over the past three decades. The Lakes Hospitality Association is well-regarded by businesses and we believe that working together will help us to provide the maximum impact and support that our vibrant and diverse tourism sector deserves.”

To find out more about exhibiting at the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show on 7 and 8 March 2018, contact Show Co-ordinator Sarah Tasker on: 015394 44495 / 07709 152398 / sarah@lakeshospitalitytradeshow.co.uk.

The long-running Lakes Hospitality Trade Show for business providers, suppliers and supporters should not be confused with the similarly-named North West Hospitality Show taking place at the same venue in early 2018; this is a completely separate event.

Cumbria Tourism is welcoming today’s news that The Department for Transport is to invest in upgrades to the county’s railway infrastructure, as a major step forward for our £2.72 billion visitor economy.

Today, Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport announced further funding to railway infrastructure within Cumbria. In a letter from Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee, it was announced that from May 2018, passengers to the Lake District will benefit from double the number of direct services to Manchester Airport.

From 2019, Northern Rail intend to introduce brand new trains with more seats and better on-board facilities including air conditioning, toilets, free wi-fi and plug sockets. It will work to explore the deployment of alternative-fuel trains on the route by 2021, improving comfort and on-board facilities for passengers while protecting the sensitive environment of the newly designated Lake District World Heritage Site.

Jim Walker, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism says:
“We’re delighted to hear the Government are investing in the Lakes Line from Oxenholme to Windermere. In recent years the service from Windermere to Manchester Airport has decreased so it’s a very welcome move from Northern and the Government to improve the number of services and the quality of the rolling stock. Cumbria is a world class destination and offers world class facilities to its residents and visitors, so it’s only right that our transport infrastructure should be equally as good. Cumbria Tourism is firmly behind the development of new sustainable travel solutions, to help create greener ways for visitors to enjoy our epic and diverse landscape.”

This package of investment is a part of the Government’s Great North Rail Project, which aims to deliver more frequent trains and new direct services on the West Coast Main Line, with faster journeys and increased frequency into and through Manchester from across the North West. It is hoped the project will improve services for visitors while boosting access to jobs and new opportunities, growing the Northern Powerhouse by improving connections between the Lake District and the Manchester Airport international gateway.