New Destination Management Plan unveiled for Cumbria

by | Mar 21, 2024 | News

The Chair of VisitEngland’s Advisory Board, Lady Borwick, has officially unveiled a new Cumbria-wide Destination Management Plan (DMP), a joined-up approach to a successful visitor economy for the whole of the county – supporting economic growth and the natural environment, and delivering benefits for local communities.

As one of VisitEngland’s first Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) nationally, Cumbria Tourism was tasked with leading the development of this collective plan – working closely with a wide range of stakeholders including businesses, local government, Cumbria LEP (CLEP), communities, transport providers and more.

The new DMP was launched during English Tourism Week at Cumbria Tourism’s Spring Members’ Meeting at Armathwaite Hall near Bassenthwaite, along some of the key partners involved in an extensive six-month programme of stakeholder engagement to formulate the plan.

At the heart of the new strategy is a vision that: By 2040 Cumbria will be Britain’s most vibrant and sustainable rural destination, boasting a reputation for quality, welcome, and an adventure for everyone – bringing benefits for our visitors, economy, nature and communities”.

The key objectives of Cumbria’s new Destination Management Plan focus on:

  • Drive economic growth: Increasing the value and productivity of our visitor economy.
  • Responsible and Sustainable: Supporting tourism that benefits our environment and vibrant communities.
  • Inclusive and Accessible: Ensuring everyone can enjoy our destination.
  • Resourced to deliver: Ensuring Cumbria has the infrastructure and support to deliver.

Many of the actions highlighted are already underway and resourced from existing budgets and plans. However, some important activities are not and the DMP will help lever external resources from outside Cumbria to make these a reality.

Chair of Cumbria Tourism, Dan Visser, says: “Cumbria’s new Destination Management Plan is a critically important strategic document for Cumbria. It is a collective, county-wide plan detailing shared priorities and resources to manage our world-class destination between now and the end of the decade. Together we have shaped an ambitious – but achievable – plan with defined roles and actions for organisations, businesses and individuals. This will help add real value and lay the foundations for Cumbria’s future growth and success as a great place to live, work and visit.”

See an overview of Cumbria’s new Destination Management Plan (DMP) at:

Cumberland Council’s Executive Member for Vibrant and Healthy Places, Cllr Anne Quilter, says: “We welcome the new Destination Management and look forward to strengthening our relationship with Cumbria Tourism and other partners. The plan seeks to showcase our world class venues and destinations to a global audience but importantly to the benefit of our local communities.

“The attract and disperse strategies, at the heart of the plan, give visitors world class experiences while protecting our unique landscapes. Our area has lots to see and offer and we will work closely with tourism and economic partners to widen our appeal to visitors and promote the hidden gems located within our Cumberland area.

Angela Jones, Director of Thriving Places at Westmorland and Furness Council, comments: “The future of Westmorland and Furness depends on a diverse and sustainable economy which brings benefits to all. The visitor economy is integral to our ambition to make Westmorland and Furness a great place to live, work and thrive. This plan provides a huge opportunity to bring together public and private sector partners across Cumbria and ensure a joined-up approach in supporting a successful, sustainable visitor economy.

“It provides a clear focus on our unique and special strengths, our challenges and barriers to success and sets out our ambition and opportunities. Together we can achieve so much more to maximise the potential of a sustainable visitor economy, at the same time as balancing the economic, community and environmental values.’’

Additional partner quotes:

Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of Cumbria LEP (CLEP) says: “CLEP very much welcomes the Destination Management Plan and the ambition within it. The visitor economy sector in Cumbria already punches significantly above its weight in its contribution to Cumbria’s economy and employment. The DMP will make sure that every area in Cumbria benefits from these opportunities.”

Hanna Latty, Head of Strategy and Rangers at the Lake District National Park Authority, comments: “We welcome this ambitious plan, particularly in terms of encouraging more sustainable and accessible visiting to the Lake District and Cumbria, helping to sustain and celebrate England’s premier National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will continue to work with partners to put the plan into action.”

Derek Twine, Deputy Chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Member Champion for Promoting Understanding, says: “We are pleased to be working with our partners at Cumbria Tourism to support the aspirations of this new Destination Management Plan, helping to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park in Cumbria and the benefits that brings to the local visitor economy.”