More than a dozen of the Lake District’s top attractions and accommodation providers are heading to the United States next week to promote Cumbria to international visitors.
It’s the first large scale international trade mission since the global pandemic.
The Destination Britain North America 2022 trade trip is organised by VisitBritain, the national tourism agency responsible for developing Britain’s visitor economy.
As the county’s official Destination Management Organisation (DMO), Cumbria Tourism will be among those promoting The Lake District, Cumbria as the ideal destination for American and Canadian travellers.
The strong contingent of businesses involved includes English Heritage, Honister Slate Mine, Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, Mountain Goat Tours, Muncaster Castle & Gardens, The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Windermere Lake Cruises and Wordsworth Grasmere.
Accommodation providers taking part include Classic Lodges Hotels, English Lakes Hotels, Lake District Country Hotels and Langdale Leisure.
Funding from the Department of International Trade’s Internationalisation Fund, which supports those businesses ready to undertake international activity, has enabled businesses to deliver activity such as attending the event to help support critical international recovery.
Prior to the global pandemic, the USA was a vital market for tourism in the UK. Approximately 5.4 million North American visitors (including Canadians) came to the UK in 2019, representing over 1 in every 10 international arrivals. The US accounted for 15% of spend by international visitors spending £4.18 billion in 2019.
Francine Bult, Sales and Marketing Executive with Cumbria Tourism, will be part of the delegation. She says: “It’s fantastic to see such a strong contingent from Cumbria attending and the event will help all involved work together effectively for maximum impact. It will be great to meet travel operators face to face once again and develop important business links.
“Before the pandemic, 14% of visitors to Cumbria were from overseas. With two internationally recognised World Heritage Statuses, that is a trend set to increase in coming years. We will be working side by side with all these top-class Cumbrian businesses to cement the county’s reputation as a world-class visitor experience.”
Jennifer Cormack, Sales and Marketing Director for Windermere Lake Cruises will also be part of the delegation. “After all the disruption to travel caused by the global pandemic, this trade mission offers a perfect chance to gain exposure to extremely valuable and potentially lucrative markets in the USA and Canada,” she says. “It will give our world class attractions direct access to extremely valuable markets which in turn will help develop the county’s vital visitor economy.”
Peter Frost-Pennington, from Muncaster Castle, says: “For many years Muncaster has worked hard to attract more American and Canadian visitors to this wonderful part of the world. It is an important market for us and we know they love our history and heritage. This trade mission will be the perfect opportunity to renew and strengthen our links with travel operators there and encourage more international visitors to come and experience the place Ruskin described as the gateway to Paradise.”
The Destination Britain North America trip will enable businesses to meet face-to-face with up to 60 key travel organisers across the US and Canada. It takes place in Washington DC from September 8-11.