The Cumbria Tourism team are out in force at the Westmorland Show today and tomorrow (8 and 9 September 2021), to officially launch the latest stage of #theperfectplacetobe Recovery Marketing campaign aimed at supporting tourism businesses through the crucial autumn and winter months.

With a traditionally quieter time of year just around the corner, the county’s official Destination Marketing Organisation is forging ahead with a series of high-profile marketing activities to help build on the momentum for staycations and generate forward bookings for the rest of the year and beyond.

 Alongside partners Northern Print Distribution (NPD), a strong Cumbria Tourism presence at the Westmorland Show is a launchpad not only to speak directly to would-be visitors, but also to invite more businesses to join the latest phase of the campaign.  It’s a chance to talk to residents too, who have had the chance to rediscover what’s on their doorstep and highlight the money-saving MyCumbria card which offers discounts on a wide range of shopping, food and drink, and things to do throughout the county.

The next phase of #theperfectplacetobe will include a major focus on supporting local high streets between now and the run-up to Christmas, alongside an online Christmas Market featuring quintessentially Cumbrian products and experiences on Cumbria Tourism’s official destination website:

Promoting the return of large-scale events will also be a key priority for Cumbria Tourism in the coming weeks and the organisation is currently promoting a ‘Love Culture Fortnight’ (until 19 Sept), to tie with the national Heritage Open Days (10-19 Sept).  Other upcoming highlights include Carlisle’s City of Light (14 Oct-16 Oct), The Winter Droving (28-30 Oct) and Cumbria’s Dark Skies Festival (6-14 Nov), alongside a series of winter markets and Christmas Fairs across Cumbria.

There will also be plenty of competitions to get people engaged, digital activity to promote special offers over the festive period and practical support to help businesses with targeted winter marketing. With Cumbria Tourism’s research underlining the importance of new experiences to would-be visitors, that includes a series of ‘experience’ workshops to help tourism operators make the most of these opportunities and a ‘Dark Skies’ accreditation scheme to help them promote overnight stargazing stays.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “The latest stage of #theperfectplacetobe is all about promoting the county as a safe and spacious place to rediscover, reconnect and recharge through the winter months, with the overall aim of extending the season and encouraging overnight stays.

 Many tourism businesses have had a positive summer, but we need to set this in the context of a pandemic which has already cost the Cumbrian visitor economy in excess of £2billion – alongside an ongoing recruitment challenge for the industry.  It’s vital that we maximise the momentum of summer staycations and continue to fight hard to support the tourism sector to inspire all-year-round bookings across the county.”

Cumbria Tourism’s Marketing Manager Sue Clarke adds, “We’re expecting another challenging winter ahead for businesses and our campaign is geared up to helping them secure as many forward bookings as possible, both for this year and well into 2022. We face stiff competition from other UK destinations, so it’s vital that we continue to be as proactive as possible to ensure the Lake District, Cumbria is the number one choice for visitors.”

Cumbria Tourism’s attendance at the Westmorland Show is just part of a renewed presence at face-to-face shows and events post-lockdown. The team has already been showcasing the county at the Great Yorkshire Show, the Royal Lancashire Show and the Cheshire Show in recent weeks, and there is a packed programme of trade shows lined up for autumn including: the British Tourism and Travel Show, UKInbound Convention, and the Group Leisure and Travel Show.

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