As hospitality businesses across the county reopen their doors Cumbria Tourism is inviting all six of the county’s MPs to celebrate the tourism sector and meet with visitor economy representatives.
English Tourism week (22nd – 31st May 2021) is always an important opportunity to highlight the importance of Cumbria’s tourism industry, and after almost a full year of closure it has never been more important to celebrate its vital contribution to the local economy as well as highlight upcoming threats and opportunities.
“Our industry is made by people, both our visitors and those providing a warm Cumbrian welcome” says Gill Haigh, Cumbria Tourism MD.
“I know how much hoteliers, publicans, attractions, guides and more have been looking forward to welcoming visitors back. English Tourism Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate everything that’s great about tourism in Cumbria, and we’re delighted that our parliamentary representatives recognise the importance of the sector to the local economy.”
Following the success of similar events in 2020 to celebrate businesses reopening and also the launch of the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’’ scheme, this year’s visits will cover almost every corner of the county. All six of Cumbria’s MP’s have agreed to take part and hear first-hand the challenges businesses in their constituencies have and continue to face, alongside future opportunities and the support required to make the most of them.
The event began on the 19th of May with a visit by Cumbria Tourism MD Gill Haigh to Sedbergh, ideally positioned within both Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Alongside Welcome to Yorkshire’s James Mason Gill met with local businesses including Farfield Mill, the Black Bull, Sedbergh Soap Company, Howgills Accommodation, Sedbergh School, Westwood Books and the town’s Tourism Information Centre to discuss new opportunities and how both DMOs can work together to promote the area.
- Barrow & Furness MP Simon Fell will be travelling around the Furness Peninsula alongside Cumbria Tourism representatives to meet and learn from business about the future potential for the area as a distinct destination, including through the ‘Cumbria’s Year of the Coast’ campaign.
- John Stevenson MP will be hosting a business briefing at Carlisle Cathedral. Alongside Cumbria Tourism Chair Jim Walker and representatives from Carlisle City Council he will meet with key tourism and transport businesses to gain a fuller understanding of current issues and how the sector can be supported out of lockdown restrictions.
- Copeland’s Trudy Harrison MP will be joined by Lord McLoughlin, Chair of the British Tourism Association. Together they will experience the fabulous visitor offering and future potential of Cumbria’s western coast, as well as attending a roundtable discussion on the topic of transport infrastructure and future opportunities.
- Penrith and the Border MP Neil Hudson will learn about Cumbria Tourism’s plans to further increase the profile of the Pennines and Eden Valley with visits to both Alston and Kirkby Stephen to highlight the tranquillity of the area, including its potential to become a dark sky tourism hotspot. Both visits will also feature opportunities to speak with local business representatives.
- Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron will meet tourism and culture representatives at the Lakeland Motor Museum, hearing what support businesses need in order to reopen fully as quickly and safely as possible. Alongside a growing recruitment staffing crisis social distancing rules, whilst important to help stop the spread of COVID-19, limit business capacity and could slow recovery if Government aid is not extended.
- Workington’s Mark Jenkinson MP has been invited to learn about Cockermouth’s tourism industry. Perfectly situated on the edge of the Lake District National Park, he will learn about the area’s huge potential for corporate tourism as well as how quality establishments benefit the local community, increasing spend in local restaurants, pubs and experiences.
The recent move to Stage 3 of the Government’s ‘reopening roadmap’ has allowed many businesses to either reopen or extend their services. However, after such a long period of closure, and with social distancing requirements limiting capacity, the industry is relying on the support of British holiday makers and local residents to help it through the coming months and, in turn, provide them with the much longed for leisure experiences they have been missing.
Looking beyond COVID-19, these events are also an opportunity for visitor economy representatives to highlight priorities, including the urgent staffing crisis facing the industry, the importance of growing the winter tourism market, strong transport connectivity and ensuring visitors are inspired to discover every hidden gem Cumbria has to offer.
“From England’s highest market town to England’s book town, England’ border city to the town of Wordsworth’s childhood, we will be showcasing just how much the county has to offer and why Cumbria is #ThePerfectPlaceToBe.”