Ahead of the Spring Bank Holiday Cumbria’s official Destination Management Organisation is offering a warm welcome to staycationers planning their post-lockdown break as businesses continue to count the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Official statistics from the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor, commonly known as STEAM, highlights that Cumbria’s visitor numbers were almost halved in 2020. Now with lockdown restrictions easing, the DMO is encouraging tourists to plan ahead and book their next stay.
The latest STEAM analysis highlights Cumbria’s overall tourism performance for 2020 and reveals an overall loss of 49.7% in visitor numbers and the loss of £1.5 billion from the visitor economy. Tourism jobs fell by a similarly drastic amount, with almost 30,000 positions lost.
“After such a difficult 15 months we’d like to thank all of our visitors and businesses, as well as local communities, for playing their part in keeping communities safe” says Cumbria Tourism MD Gill Haigh. “With lockdown restrictions continuing to ease now is the time to book your post-lockdown break and support businesses across the county. Cumbria is open and we can’t wait to welcome our visitors back safely”.
“These latest statistics show just how badly the industry was affected by the pandemic. With hospitality closed for much of the year, alongside many key amenities such as public toilets and car parks, when visitors did come we saw some different patterns of visiting including lots of people experiencing the county for the first time and understandably drawn to the more famous parts of the county, whilst many more regular visitors chose to visit other areas including Cumbria’s wonderful coast.
Using much of last year’s learning Cumbria Tourism is working as part of a Tactical Visitor Management Group to support safe and enjoyable visiting experiences this year, including encouraging people to ‘know before you go’, to book ahead, to stay longer, explore more of the county and to visiting in the autumn and winter months, not just the summer. Cumbria Tourism has been busy creating lots of ideas and inspiration for car free days out and itineraries of things to do in the north, east, south and west of the county as well as the central Lakes. Find out more at www.visitlakedistrict.com.
“With the Bank Holiday approaching and the promise of good weather on the horizon I know businesses are really enjoying being able to welcome visitors back and do what they do best”,’ said Gill Haigh, Managing Director, “However we’re far from out of the woods, and businesses really do need all our support so that they can continue to deliver fantastic experiences now and for years to come. My message to everyone, locals and visitors, is to say welcome back, have a fantastic time, and thank you for your continued support.”