Latest figures from Cumbria Tourism’s research team reveal that occupancy rates for the county’s self-catering properties are up 5% so far this year – and self-catering figures during 2017’s peak holiday season were the highest for almost a decade.

It’s been a strong year so far, with bookings for Cumbria’s self-catering units up 5% overall (January-September 2017) compared to the first 9 months of last year.

In August, self-catering occupancy reached 87%. Traditionally the busiest month of the year for the county’s £2.72billion tourism industry, this was the best-performing August since 2008.

Research Manager for Cumbria Tourism, Helen Tate, says, “Building on a strong performance in 2016, these are another positive set of figures for Cumbria’s visitor economy for the year to date.

“The national uncertainty about the impact of Brexit and the trend towards staycations are key factors in more people choosing to holiday at home. Recent figures from the International Passenger Survey also reveal a 14% increase in visitors coming to the North West from overseas for the first six months of this year, which underlines how cost-effective it is for international visitors at the moment.

“Self-catering is certainly a flexible, convenient option for many domestic and overseas holiday-makers, giving them a range of unique opportunities to explore many lesser-known locations right across Cumbria.”

Family-run business Heart of the Lakes has more than 300 holiday cottages across the Lake District.

Chris Jackson, Partner of Heart of the Lakes says: “So far 2017 has been an extremely strong year for Heart of the Lakes and we have seen an increase in bookings on last year, as well as a strong growth in visitors to our website and engagement with our social media activity. What is even more promising is the forward projections for 2018 as at the moment we are substantially ahead of this time last year. This gives us confidence that the trend will continue and staycations will continue to grow.”

Meanwhile, Cumbria’s serviced accommodation, which includes hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs, was also up 1% in both August and September this year, compared to the same two months in 2016.

Monthly occupancy services are undertaken by Cumbria Tourism as part of its role as the county’s official Destination Management Organisation. To find out more about taking part, businesses can contact Research Manager, Helen Tate: htate@cumbriatourism.org

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