Two top tourism officials will meet with businesses at Cumbria Tourism’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 27 June, to share the Government’s perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing the county’s £3billion tourism industry.

Businesses gathered at Penrith’s Roundthorn Country House Hotel will hear ‘the view from Government’, with both David Martin (Head of Tourism Strategy and Sponsorship at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) and Tim Jenkins (Policy and Public Affairs Manager at VisitBritain) as headline speakers.

Among the issues under the spotlight will be the Government’s plans for a Tourism Sector Deal and how this relates to Cumbria. The challenges of staff recruitment and skills, Brexit and infrastructure are likely to feature, alongside opportunities to grow productivity and the potential support available for rural tourism businesses.

With up-to-date analysis on the performance and growing economic value of the county’s tourism industry, as well as news on Cumbria Tourism’s national and international marketing and PR work, it is a jam-packed agenda. More than 120 businesses and representatives are expected at the event, which will also see the appointment of three new Non-Executive Directors for Cumbria’s official Destination Management Organisation.

And with just one week before the official launch of Carlisle Lake District Airport on 4 July, Stobart Group’s Kate Willard will reveal the latest on the first scheduled passenger flights for more than 25 years. The speaker-line up is rounded off with an update from Cumbria Tourism patron, United Utilities.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Our latest research reveals the massive £3billion contribution tourism makes to our county and we’re delighted to be welcoming a great selection of high-level speakers to our AGM, who can update and inspire local businesses on the important issues facing our growing industry.

 “We are proud to be working at both a regional and national level to champion Cumbria’s tourism sector and we know that the latest insights from VisitBritain and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will be invaluable to local businesses who want to continue growing and innovating for the future.

 “It is great to know that the Government recognises the value of rural tourism, although it’s also vital that we work together to take full advantage of the opportunities and tackle the challenges tourism businesses face on a day-to-day level.”

The day will finish with a ‘Question and Answer’ session for Cumbria Tourism’s member businesses.

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