Cumbria Tourism’s latest ‘health check’ of tourism businesses reveals it’s been a strong visitor season for the county. At the same time, increasing costs, availability of staff and the potential impact of Brexit are all key concerns heading into 2018.
Cumbria Tourism’s business performance survey is carried out twice a year and aims to find out how the sector is performing. The latest version gave tourism businesses the chance to comment anonymously on the issues and trends affecting trade between April and September 2017.
The ‘health check’ reveals that the majority of business had a good season; 68% of businesses are level or up on profit, compared to 65% the same time 12 months ago. Meanwhile, more than half say visitor numbers are up compared to the same time last year.
Three quarters of those surveyed also feel confident about the coming months. However, there is no room for complacency, with many tourism operators raising ongoing concerns, including:
- Increased costs
- People spending less
- Availability of suitable staff
- Traffic and parking issues for visitors
- Website commissions for online travel agencies
- The potential impact of Brexit on operating costs, border controls and recruitment.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Cumbria Tourism is the only organisation conducting tourism research on behalf of the county’s tourism sector and this invaluable insight enables us to continually refine and enhance our impact. Crucially, it allows us to lead and lobby on businesses’ behalf more effectively, by giving us first-hand evidence of the practical issues facing the tourism industry on a day-to-day basis.
“As the county’s official Destination Management Organisation, Cumbria Tourism is well connected with key influencers and will use every opportunity to highlight the issues that matter to businesses and to seek to influence policy-making in these areas. Concerns around labour supply, traffic issues, operating costs and commissions for online travel agencies have all been high on my agenda at recent high-level meetings with key decision-makers. That includes the Home Office, VisitBritain, and Heritage and Tourism Minister John Glen MP, as well as the county’s local authorities and decision makers.
“The findings will now also be shared with Cumbria Tourism’s partners, including the Local Enterprise Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, Lake District National Park and the county’s MPs, in order for them to use this evidence to support their own influencing and decision-making.”
The six-monthly ‘Tourism Business Health Check’ is just one area of regular research undertaken by Cumbria Tourism. Other analysis by the research team includes monthly occupancy surveys, county-wide visitor surveys, regular analysis of accommodation stock and data collection from Tourist Information Centres and visitor attractions.
For more information on Cumbria Tourism’s research programme, contact Research Manager, Helen Tate: firstname.lastname@example.org