THIRTY Cumbrian tourist attractions have joined forces to launch a publicity bid aimed at dramatically boosting visitor numbers.
Representatives from each of the iconic enterprises met at Levens Hall near Kendal, on Thursday, to officially unveil the marketing initiative, Cumbria’s Living Heritage.
By co-ordinating resources and expertise, the attractions hope to gain maximum impact from what they describe as ‘limited marketing budgets’.
The idea came after a small number of Cumbrian attractions got together to discuss marketing priorities, which involved making ‘some pretty tough choices’ about where and how to spend their marketing resources over the coming year. Research was carried out into a consortium of attractions in Yorkshire which had run a similar scheme successfully for around 20 years.
Owners and managers of some of Cumbria’s leading attractions said they were keen to support and be a part of the new initiative.
The organisation’s chairman is Peter Frost-Pennington, of Muncaster Castle, and Lady Cressida Inglewood, of Hutton-in-the-Forest.
Mr Frost Pennington said: "I am delighted that Cumbria's Living Heritage has finally got off the ground. We have been determined to find a better way to promote our attractions and make our marketing budget go farther and I am pleased to say that we've done it.
"I look forward to seeing the results of all our efforts, to continue to raise the profile of Cumbria's Living Heritage and encourage others to join with us for 2015 and beyond. The more attractions we represent the stronger our voice will become."
The organisation’s first major initiative, an official 2014 guide featuring all 30 attractions, which includes castles, stately homes, gardens and museums, has now been launched. It has a print run of 100k copies and ‘an extensive distribution plan’ in place.
The guide includes descriptions, directions, opening times and full illustrations providing visitors with a wealth of useful information about each attraction. In addition to the guide, marketing includes advertising in key tourism publications, attendance at relevant exhibitions and the development of a new website - www.cumbriaslivingheritage.co.uk.
The use of social media, PR and communications will work to support marketing and help spread the message about the work of the consortium and the attractions it represents To obtain a free copy of the new guide, download from www.cumbriaslivingheritage.co.uk or request a copy by telephoning 01759 373628.