Research

Vital market intelligence about visitor audiences and business performance

Research

Understanding our visitors, why they visit and what they do helps us to develop and promote the Lake District, Cumbria as a truly world-class destination that enhances their experience and keeps people coming back again and again.

Cumbria Tourism’s research team also works with a range of tourism organisations, businesses and public sector partners to gather vital market intelligence and up-to-date analysis around business performance and economic impact.

This evidence-based approach enables Cumbria Tourism to make the voice of Cumbria’s tourism industry heard loud and clear with national decision-makers and industry bodies.

Regular research undertaken by Cumbria Tourism’s research team includes:

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Countywide visitor surveys

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Annual tourism economic impact assessments, measuring visitor numbers and value

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Tourism business performance surveys at least twice a year

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Monthly occupancy surveys with the full range of accommodation providers (including almost 200 participants)

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Monthly data collection from tourist information centres and visitor attractions

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Regular analysis of accommodation stock composition, including Airbnb data

Cumbria Visitor Survey

Our research team carried out its most recent county-wide survey into visitor trends and behaviour, in Summer/Autumn 2022. The Cumbria Visitor Survey saw researchers carry out more than 2,000 face-to-face interviews at almost 60 locations throughout the county, along with additional online surveys to capture further in-depth data.

Cumbria Tourism takes the lead on the Cumbria Visitor Survey with support from the Lake District National Park and local authority partners.

You can see the highlights in our press release and a summary of the report is available to Cumbria Tourism members for free on our Media Library. Members can also purchase the full report at a discounted price of £50 (or £150 for non-members).

Tourism Economic Impact Assessment

Our annual assessment of Cumbria’s overall tourism performance provides vital insights into the volume and value of visitors during the previous year. The statistics come from the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor, commonly known as ‘STEAM’.

This research has taken place for almost 25 years, giving us important information about longer-term trends and helping to shape wider decisions around tourism management and development.

It is produced on behalf of a partnership led by Cumbria Tourism and supported by Cumbria’s local authorities, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Lake District National Park.

You can purchase the full report on Tourism Volume and Value in Cumbria 2022 here.

Steam infographic 2022
Business Performance Survey - Cumbria Tourism

Business Performance Survey

Cumbria Tourism’s regular business performance surveys gather ‘real-time’ (anonymous) data from tourism operators about the issues, challenges and opportunities they are facing.

Working alongside Cumbrian accountancy firm Lamont Pridmore, this up-to-date evidence has allowed us to dig down deeper into the experiences of individual tourism operators.

Our business performance surveys have proved invaluable during both the global pandemic and the cost of living crisis, enabling Cumbria Tourism to use first-hand insight to argue the county’s case for support at the highest levels of government.

See a brief overview of our Spring 2023 Business Performance Survey

Thank you to all those businesses who continue to contribute; together we can make our voices heard.

How businesses can get involved:

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Join the Accommodation Occupancy Survey for free

Almost 200 businesses already participate in Cumbria Tourism’s monthly occupancy surveys, helping to benchmark their business against others and enriching the picture we are able to paint of Cumbria’s visitor economy.

It is free (and confidential) for ANY accommodation provider to take part in this quick, simple process. As well as being able to view accommodation occupancy rates across the county as the year unfolds, you will also receive a complementary annual report (worth £65+VAT) showing monthly occupancy rates across the county by business type, location, size and quality rating. See the full details here and contact Helen Tate to sign up: htate@cumbriatourism.org

Occupancy Survey - Cumbria Tourism
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Keep your finger on the pulse by accessing T-STATS

T-STATS is a real-time destination tracking system containing a wide range of tourism-related insight into everything from national indicators (e.g. exchange rates, inbound visitors, airport activity) to local data on the weather, petrol prices, accommodation occupancy, visits to visitor attractions and enquiries at Tourist Information Centres.

It is free to sign up. All we need from you in return is one figure each month – your visitor numbers (which would remain completely anonymous). As well as seeing your own performance tracked over time, it’s a fantastic way of keeping an eye on how others in the sector are doing too.  Contact Helen Tate to find out more: htate@cumbriatourism.org

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Make the most of our regular tourism research updates

Regular tourism research updates are available to Cumbria Tourism members for free. Download the most recent summary via our Media Library using your member login.

(These updates are also available to ANY business which provides us with regular data on occupancy, attractions, etc).

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Consult our in-depth research reports and analysis

Our detailed research reports fall into four key categories: business performance, visitor markets, accommodation and attractions. This invaluable data will enable you to benchmark your business against others and help you plan future investment and marketing activity

Cumbria Tourism members receive a 20% discount on the purchase of these reports.

Visit our shop to purchase reports and see the full range of in-depth analysis available.

Starting a tourism business or venture?

The most successful new businesses are always underpinned by robust evidence and Cumbria Tourism offers a Business Start Up Pack designed to help potential new businesses with planning, decision making and in-depth insight to help secure finance. Each individual pack is prepared with research relevant to the planned business type and location. 

Did you know we are also regularly called on by consultants, local government, National Portfolio Organisations and private sector individuals and organisations to provide expert advice and evidence for potential new ventures?

This includes:

  • Informing and developing an evidence base
  • Supporting planning applications
  • Informing investment decisions
  • Supporting funding applications
  • Developing marketing and communications plans
  • Helping increase productivity.

We can potentially offer businesses letters of supporting evidence too.

Contact us on info@cumbriatourism.org / 01539 822222 to discuss how we can help with your research and data objectives.