One of Ireland’s best-known travel writers and broadcasters has joined Cumbria Tourism, to head up a major project helping attract international visitors to World Heritage Sites across the North of England.

As part of the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund, Tourism Minister Michael Ellis confirmed exciting new plans for Cumbria Tourism to lead the ‘Northern World Heritage Collection’ earlier this summer.

The new £250,000 project will tell the story of England’s culture and heritage through the North’s outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites and will enable Cumbrian businesses to better target both groups and independent travellers from the USA and Ireland. So, it’s fitting that Irishman Fionn Davenport has been appointed to take on the role.

Most recently Fionn has worked on two other Discover England Fund projects; one in conjunction with Marketing Manchester and a second targeting American visitors in the South of England.

As an experienced Lonely Planet writer, as well as a regular presence in the travel pages of Irish newspapers, he has a wealth of experience in travel journalism and has written guidebooks inspiring people to explore multiple destinations – from his native country to Vietnam. He’s also been a regular fixture on Ireland’s RTE Radio 1, sharing travel advice with the national radio station’s 1.4 million listeners.

Fionn’s latest role at Cumbria Tourism will involve working with fellow Northern World Heritage sites such as Liverpool and Durham, surrounding businesses and other tourism bodies over the next 6 months to help attract and welcome American and Irish visitors.

Activity will include business and itinerary development, training and trade shows, alongside marketing, online content, film and PR.  It will also involve working alongside tour operators and agents to help visitors book their trips to multiple World Heritage sites across the North quickly and easily.

Fionn says, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of this hugely exciting project. Helping to raise awareness of Northern England’s rich cultural and natural patrimony is a privilege and something that I’m very proud to be associated with. I very much look forward to getting stuck in and working with all of relevant partners to bring more international visitors to this part of the country – especially those from my native Ireland!”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, adds, “We are thrilled to welcome a travel expert of Fionn’s calibre to the team, to help both Cumbria and our Northern neighbours raise their profile on the global stage. For international visitors, World Heritage status has huge resonance and it’s vital that we work collaboratively with other key locations from across the North of England to attract higher-spending overseas tourists who want to tick World Heritage sites like Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District off their list.”

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