Lake District Resorts To Focus On Australians

Breathtaking views from Latrigg near Keswick in the Lake District with Derwentwater lake in the far distance., Latrigg, Cumbria, England. Additional Credit: NWDA

Timeshare resorts in the Lake District with weeks available for rent should be targeting the Australian market as this makes up the largest number of visitor numbers to Cumbria.

This was one of the golden nuggets of information shared by expert speakers from VisitBritain, VisitEngland Delegates at this year’s Eden Tourism Summit.

Dozens of businesses gathered for the conference which took place this week at Appleby Manor Country House Hotel.

From 2010-2014 there were 151,000 visits to Cumbria from Australia, up 38 per cent from 110,000 from 2002-2006.

Australians spent a whopping £58 million in the county during that time.

Americans were the second largest group of visitors to Cumbria in that period.

Record numbers of tourists visited Eden last year, with business leaders optimistic about the outlook for 2016.

In 2014 the amount of tourists visiting the area was up 5 per cent to 4.5 million, with spend up 9 per cent to £267.7 million, accounting fro 4039 jobs, up 4 per cent on the previous year.

Richard Nicholls, head of research and forecasting at VisitBritain, shared the optimistic statistics.

He also shared some thoughts on how Eden businesses can capitalise on tourism in 2016 focusing on the importance of social media.

“We surveyed several countries and found that social media penetration in holiday decision making is growing. The Sterling has strengthened against most currencies apart from the US Dollar, and this is a challenge next year.”

Other speakers at the event included; councillor David Hymers MBE, Eden District Council’s economic development portfolio holder, Jessica Goodfellow and Sally Hemsley, joint Eden tourism manager, Patricia Yates, strategy and communications director at VisitBritain.

Jim Walker, chair of the Eden Tourism Network, chaired the event.

He said: “The Summit is industry driven and over the past three years has grown its reputation as the region’s most important event for tourism businesses to debate key issues affecting their industry and to network with operators from across the region.”

The Eden Tourism Network, co-ordinated by Eden District Council’s Tourism Team brings together a variety of Eden tourism businesses and organisations who meet on a quarterly basis at venues throughout Eden.

The Network is made up of 100 representatives from tourism businesses in Eden and provides an opportunity to share information and discuss the latest tourism developments and issues at both a local and national level.

Meetings include visiting speakers on topical issues and practical business presentations, enabling members to be informed and take away practical ideas for their own business.

For the first time in the event’s five year history, workshops took place in the afternoon to allow businesses to learn more from tourism experts.

Image courtesy of VisitBritain