[A]s part of English Tourism Week, Cumbria Tourism has unveiled exciting new plans to team up with VisitEngland – alongside local partners and other English regions – on four key projects to target international visitors.
As part of its role as the official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for the county, Cumbria Tourism revealed details of the ‘Discover England’ projects during a special tourism summit of member businesses at the Low Wood Bay hotel and resort.
The event yesterday ran under the theme of ‘Creating a World-Class Visitor Experience’ and appropriately, all four large-scale collaborative projects focus on enhancing a world-class experience for targeted international markets.
Cumbria Tourism’s involvement will mean the county features strongly within each of the initiatives, which are all being supported through VisitEngland’s national ‘Discover England’ Fund. They include:
Discover England’s Great Walking Trails is all about promoting the great walking trails of England to visitors from Germany, the Netherlands, France and the USA. Itineraries will be designed to promote walking holidays offered by seven of England’s National Trails, including Hadrian’s Wall and the northern part of the Pennine Way. Cumbria Tourism is working with Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, in conjunction with Carlisle City Council, to ensure Cumbria receives maximum exposure.
Growing Manchester as an International Gateway to the North: Working alongside Marketing Manchester, this project aims to increase the volume of visitors coming through Manchester Airport by creating itineraries that open up the North of England to the US market. Cumbria Tourism is developing one and two-day excursions to spearhead Cumbria as an unmissable rural destination.
The English National Park Experience Collection is a collaboration of the National Parks in England and will create a joined-up, internationally branded collection of experiences. Cumbria Tourism will be working closely with the Lake District National Park to provide business support, workshops and a trade marketing strategy which can be used by Cumbrian businesses targeting the Australian and German markets.
The World Heritage Sites Study is a research project being led by Cumbria Tourism on behalf of all the 18 World Heritage Sites across England. It will be identifying common themes, analysing which locations/activities have greatest resonance with different overseas markets and exploring where there are opportunities to cluster World Heritage themed routes and tours, possibly at a national level.
Sales and Marketing Manager at Cumbria Tourism, Sue Clarke, says, “14% of visitors to Cumbria are currently from overseas and with two internationally-recognised World Heritage Statuses, it’s a trend that is set to continue in the coming months and years. Our role is all about cementing a world-class experience by bringing businesses and local authorities together in partnership with VisitEngland and other regions across the country, to ensure we are all working together effectively for maximum impact.
“In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it is vital that we continually increase the amount of bookable online experiences international visitors can enjoy and keep raising the quality of tourism services and products available to them. These projects are a fantastic platform for Cumbria £2.72billion tourism industry to keep driving forward over the next 12 months.”