Cumbrian tourism booms with Britain
Cumbria is cashing in on a British tourism boom.
The latest figures from national agency VisitBritain/VisitEngland have shown a huge rise in the amount of money spent by tourists across the UK.
In Cumbria the numbers connected with the industry have also risen.
An extra £872m in visitor spending was generated across the UK in the last year, according to the figures published in the organisation's annual review for 2016-17.
From January to July this year there were 23.1m visits from overseas to the UK, up eight per cent on the same period last year with visitors spending £13.3bn, up nine per cent. This is forecast to rise to 39.7m this year, with spending also going up to £25.7bn.
The number of domestic, so-called 'staycations', has also risen. From January to June this year, domestic overnight holidays in England rose seven per cent to a record 20.4m with visitors spending £4.6bn, up 17 per cent and also a record.
Responding to this, Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “The growth of tourism nationally has been reflected in visitor figures for Cumbria over the same period, with an increase of four per cent in tourist days, 5.2 per cent in tourist numbers and 4.1 per cent in tourism revenue - despite the impact of Storm Desmond which affected many businesses either directly or indirectly well into 2016. The county’s share of international visitors also grew by 26 per cent last year.
“Looking ahead, it is essential that we remain competitive as a destination and continue making the most of every opportunity to increase visitor spend and to reach out to new and emerging markets. This includes the accolade of double World Heritage Status, upcoming developments such as Carlisle Airport and the current trend for staycations."
“As the county’s official destination management organisation, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with partners like VisitEngland/VisitBritain to promote the region nationally and internationally, and to lobby on key issues affecting Cumbria’s tourism industry," she added.
Tourism Minister John Glen said: "Internationally we are performing strongly in a hugely competitive market and I will continue to work closely with the sector to maintain growth, get the best possible deal as we exit the EU and retain the UK's position as the must-visit destination."