With half-term over and the darker nights setting in, the county’s official Destination Management Organisation is today unveiling a five-month campaign to promote the county as an all-year-round visitor destination.
Cumbria Tourism’s programme of seasonal marketing activity reached a combined audience of more than 32 million last winter, including the full spectrum of social media, travel features in national newspapers and 1.9million eNewsletters to targeted customer databases.
With huge potential to grow the seasonal visitor economy when Cumbria has the capacity to accommodate additional visitors, the latest phase of #theplacetobe campaign again aims to drive much-needed trade during the winter months and encourage longer stays across the county.
This year’s innovations will include the launch of the new ‘GoLakes Club’ – a new annual membership club which encourages visitors to stay loyal to Cumbria with a range of exclusive discounts and flash sales all year round.
It will run alongside the newly redeveloped ‘GoLakes card’, which is a visitor rewards card offering special deals over a two week stay between now and the end of March. The card will be available to purchase on GoLakes with complimentary cards being given to visitors that book through the site during the winter period.
An important part of the #theplacetobe message will focus on older couples who are less constrained by family routines and are more likely to visit midweek, as well as the younger ‘buzz seekers’ who enjoy outdoor challenges and outdoor experiences during the winter.
With 14 million page views every year, golakes.co.uk will be the central focal point for visitors to book their winter breaks and access seasonal offers for accommodation and events. At the same time, Cumbria Tourism is developing targeted content to help inspire winter visits on social media and through a programme of press trips with national travel writers.
To support tourism businesses, a winter toolkit is being made available with ideas, itineraries and imagery they can use on their own websites and marketing channels. Cumbria Tourism is also partnering with individual businesses to offer them more tailored packages of support during the low season.
Head of Marketing and Sales, Rachel Tyson, says, “Winter trading is vital for our local economy and communities, helping to create and maintain all year-round employment for many people. Cumbria is one of the few rural and coastal destinations to attract people all year-round, so a high-impact campaign is vital to maintain visitor confidence and cement this trend during a traditionally quieter time of year.”