Cumbria Tourism’s ‘Shop Local’ message is stepping up a gear with the launch of a Virtual Christmas Market, promoting the very best of the county’s local gifts, produce and vouchers for experiences and breaks.
Ahead of Black Friday on 27 November, Cumbria’s official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) is urging people to get behind Cumbrian businesses and communities rather than turning to impersonal global online retailers for their Christmas gifts.
Running from now until the end of the year on visitlakedistrict.com, Cumbria Tourism’s Virtual Christmas Market will enable a wide range of independent retailers, hotels, restaurants, attractions, cultural venues, creative talents and artisans to sell online and help ‘make it a Cumbria Christmas’ despite the continuing restrictions.
It also means that people across the county – and beyond – can still enjoy browsing and buying unique gifts, as well as having the flexibility to redeem vouchers for a range of experiences, dining out and break away on a future date.
The initiative is part of Cumbria Tourism’s wider #theperfectplacetobe Recovery Marketing Campaign to help tourism and hospitality businesses affected by more than £1.7billion in lost income following the impact of COVID-19 during 2020 so far.
With two national lockdowns and just a few short weeks of summer trading to generate vital revenue, the performance of the industry during the coming winter months will be all the more critical for business survival.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “One positive thing to come out of the lockdown restrictions is a renewed public appreciation for everything we have right here on our doorstep and the intrinsic value of ‘supporting local’.
“We have so many first-class, locally-run businesses right across Cumbria and our new Virtual Christmas Market gives residents a chance to throw their support behind our local tourism industry in the absence of the many annual markets and craft fairs we’d usually expect to see at this time of year.
“There are so many talented makers and producers in our county. So whether it’s ordering superb locally-made products online or buying vouchers for experiences and breaks to enjoy in the future, each and every Cumbrian resident can make a difference by ordering gifts for friends, families, colleagues and customers that reflect the very best of Cumbria.”
Lake District Country Hotels is one of the dozens of businesses taking part in Cumbria Tourism’s Virtual Christmas Market.
Executive Commercial Manager, Joe Cobb, says, “Buying and supporting local is more important than ever. Not only does it support people and businesses in the community at such a challenging time, but you often get a better product. In the Lakes, and in Lake District Country Hotels in particular, there is so much creativity.
“Buying local also offers personality, from warm, welcoming, personable service. Cumbria Tourism’s Virtual Christmas Market should be at the top of all of our agendas.”
It is free for Cumbria Tourism members to advertise online gifts on the county’s Virtual Christmas Market on visitlakedistrict.com. Non-member businesses can also register as sellers for £30.
All businesses need is the ability to transact online, plus an image and 20 words to describe each item they are selling (up to a maximum of four).
For more information or to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
23rd November 2020