As the final countdown to Brexit continues, the organisation representing Cumbria’s tourism businesses says it’s more important than ever for businesses to contribute to vital research capturing the current successes and challenges facing the £3billion industry.
With the prospect of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on 31 October still a very real possibility, Cumbria Tourism says the uncertainty around a wide range of Brexit-related issues is having a major impact. However, with other destinations nationally also vying for government attention, it needs first-hand evidence from tourism operators to continue making the county’s voice heard the highest level.
Cumbria Tourism carries out a ‘Tourism Business Health Check’ every six months to find out how the sector is performing, but never before have the responses been so useful for supporting the future direction of Cumbria’s visitor economy.
The organisation’s latest health check covering April-September 2019 is carried out in association with asset and wealth management specialists, Lamont Pridmore. It also includes new targeted questions around skills, staff retention and inclusivity – all hot topics as Brexit looms ever closer.
The survey gives people the chance to comment anonymously and although it only takes 5-10 minutes to complete, it provides rich data which Cumbria Tourism can use to help make the county’s case for future investment, strategy and business support, as well as informing key partners such as local authorities, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Lake District National Park in their work on behalf of the sector.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “As we approach the great unknown of Brexit, there has never been a more important time to work together to gather up-to-date, accurate feedback from businesses. This survey is quick and easy to complete, and by taking part, businesses are helping us to continuously improve as a world-class visitor destination and sustain almost 65,000 full and part-time jobs across the county.
“Just this week, we have seen the House of Lords’ Select Committee debating the importance of tourism to the rural economy. It follows an earlier session at Westminster where I was invited to join a panel of experts giving evidence about the current and emerging issues faced by our industry. This is a prime example where we can use research gathered from businesses here in Cumbria and feed it directly into our lobbying work with national decision-makers.
“With the continued participation of businesses in this survey, we can keep up this type of pressure to strengthen not just the visitor economy, but Cumbria’s economy as a whole.”
Chief Executive of Lamont Pridmore, Graham Lamont, says, “Cumbrian businesses are facing growing uncertainty around the implications of Brexit, regardless of whether the UK leaves with or without a deal. Not knowing what lies ahead in terms of legislation, tariffs, supply chains and staffing makes it challenging for small business to plan and successfully mitigate against.
“It is increasingly important that businesses complete Cumbria Tourism’s Business Performance Survey. It will provide the team with a robust understanding of issues and present a firm evidence base from which to lobby for change and increased support for the county’s tourism industry.”