50 years of Cumbria Tourism

1974 - 2024 Timeline

50 years of Cumbria Tourism 1974 – 2024 Timeline

Cumbria Tourism has come a long way since ‘Cumbria Tourist Board’ officially formed 50 years ago. There are countless highlights we could mention, but here is just a snapshot of some key milestones over the past five decades – not only for Cumbria Tourism, but for our county’s tourism and hospitality industry as a whole:

1974
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 1974 The creation of Cumbria Tourist Board in June 1974 marked a new era of cooperation and coordination between a variety of tourism stakeholders across the county.
1974

The creation of Cumbria Tourist Board in April 1974 marked a new era of cooperation and coordination between a variety of tourism stakeholders across the county.

1975
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1975

The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show was established – still going strong today, it is now Cumbria’s longest-running trade show.

1976
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 2017 The English Lake District was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status, underlining its reputation globally.
1976

Cumbria Tourist Board launched the ‘Britain's Best Kept Secret’ campaign to promote Cumbria as a ‘hidden gem’. Widely praised at the time for its creative and effective use of print, TV and radio, it is credited with significantly increasing the profile of Cumbria in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

1979
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1979

Cumbria’s visitor economy continued to grow rapidly, providing 20,000+ jobs and worth £75million to the county by the end of the 1970s.

1987
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 1987 Hadrian’s Wall was officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, putting it alongside the likes of the Taj Mahal, Machu Piccu and the Grand Canyon as one of the world’s most iconic sites.
1987

Hadrian’s Wall was officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, putting it alongside the likes of the Taj Mahal, Machu Piccu and the Grand Canyon as one of the world’s most iconic sites.

1989
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 1989 Following a long-running campaign, the Government announced that the Carlisle-Settle railway line should remain open.
1989

Following a long-running campaign, the Government announced that the Carlisle-Settle railway line should remain open.

1994
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 1994 Britain’s first-ever computer-generated journey planner launched in Cumbria, making it easier for visitors and locals to plan travel via bus and rail services.
1994

Britain’s first-ever computer-generated journey planner launched in Cumbria, making it easier for visitors and locals to plan travel via bus and rail services.

1995
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1995

Like-minded tourism businesses formed the Japan Forum to concentrate on the Far East market, kick-starting an important stage in the growth of the county’s international tourism markets.

1996
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1996

Cumbria Tourist Board became a company limited by guarantee, a not-for-profit business set up to support the visitor economy, following lengthy discussions with the English Tourist Board, commercial members and Cumbria County Council.

1997
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1997

Cumbria Tourist Board launched the county’s first visitor facing website, known as ‘Cumbria The Lake District’. The first-ever county-wide tourism awards also took place.

2001
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2001

The foot and mouth outbreak had a significant impact on Cumbria, leading to the closure of footpaths/attractions, the cancellation of events and a dramatic drop in visitor numbers.

2003
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 2013 The ‘Lakes Plus’ marketing campaign was launched by Cumbria Tourist Board to help the industry recover from foot and mouth disease.
2003

The ‘Lakes Plus’ marketing campaign was launched by Cumbria Tourist Board to help the industry recover from foot and mouth disease. Independent consultants later said it encouraged visitors to spend an extra £17million a year and had supported an increase in annual visitor numbers to 15.5million by 2005.

2006
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 2006 The newly-renamed Cumbria Tourism moved from its original Bowness offices to a purpose-built building in Staveley, opened by TV personality Ben Fogle.
2006

The newly-renamed Cumbria Tourism moved from its original Bowness offices to a purpose-built building in Staveley, opened by TV personality Ben Fogle.

2008
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 2008 Queen Elizabeth II visited West Cumbria, to see the newly refurbished Beacon Museum and mark the 100th anniversary of Whitehaven harbour.
2008

Queen Elizabeth II visited West Cumbria, to see the newly refurbished Beacon Museum and mark the 100th anniversary of Whitehaven harbour.

2010
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2010

Cumbria Tourism’s celebrity postcard campaign ‘Wish You Were Here’ was unveiled to help the county recover from the impact of the 2009 floods, where water levels in Cockermouth reached up to 8.2ft (2.5m) and devastated businesses. Cumbria Tourism also underwent an internal restructuring and re-established itself on a more commercial footing, following the loss of funding from the Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

2015
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 2015 The high-profile #theplacetobe campaign was launched by Cumbria Tourism after Storm Desmond closed in on Cumbria causing significant damage to businesses and infrastructure.
2015

The high-profile #theplacetobe campaign was launched by Cumbria Tourism after Storm Desmond closed in on Cumbria causing significant damage to businesses and infrastructure.

2017
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 2017 The English Lake District was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status, underlining its reputation globally.
2017

The English Lake District was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status, underlining its reputation globally.

2020
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2020

Cumbria Tourism was at the forefront of a post-pandemic marketing recovery campaign, encouraging visitors to ‘attract and disperse’ across the county and reaching 21 million people.

2023
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 2023 Cumbria Tourism was one of the first destination management organisations nationally to be awarded the new ‘Local Visitor Economy Partnership’ (LVEP) status by VisitEngland, formally recognising its central role in transforming the visitor economy in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way.
2023

Cumbria Tourism was one of the first destination management organisations nationally to be awarded the new ‘Local Visitor Economy Partnership’ (LVEP) status by VisitEngland, formally recognising its central role in transforming the visitor economy in an inclusive, accessible and sustainable way.

2024
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50 years of Cumbria Tourism - 2024 Cumbria Tourism marks 50 years at the heart of the county’s £4.1billion visitor economy.<br />
It is the largest membership organisation in Cumbria, representing 4,500 member businesses.
2024

Cumbria Tourism marks 50 years at the heart of the county’s £4.1billion visitor economy. It is the largest membership organisation in Cumbria, representing 4,500 member businesses.