Cumbria Tourism chiefs plan to make Lake District 'The Place To Be' this spring in new visitor drive

The Westmorland Gazette: Dive into Derwentwater - one of the new campaign posters Dive into Derwentwater - one of the new campaign posters

VISITORS from across the North and Scotland are being targeted in a new tourism campaign in the countdown to Spring.

Cumbria Tourism aims to generate early spring and Easter bookings for the area by running promotions at what it calls key ‘hub/interchange’ rail and transport hubs in the North West, Yorkshire, North East and Scotland.

The campaign uses the slogan ‘The Place To Be’ and the Staveley-based tourism organisation says it is supported by a selection of stunning glossy images from across Cumbria.

They depict big tourist lures like the area's beautiful landscapes, its quality food offer, its huge range of adventure activities, outdoor family fun and the county's cultural offer.

All of the campaign materials will try to influence a visit to the tourist board's award-winning website www.golakes.co.uk to find out more and book accommodation.

Tourism officials said the campaign will use giant posters, digital and non-digital panels and a whole range of other formats, as well as a range of social media platforms using the hashtag #theplacetobe.

Alongside the campaign, it says there will be a 'huge range' of national media activity across major titles including The Independent, The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Times, among others.

The campaign is supported by high profile competitions, newsletters, web content and much more, said officials.

The tourist board said the campaign has been worked up in conjunction with local creative agency Cactus Creative, based in Kendal.

Andy Smith owner of Cactus Creative said: ‘We have had the opportunity to be totally creative, to showcase places around the Cumbria, places that have inspired us and places we know will inspire others to come and see what the area has to offer.

"The brief provided by CT wanted us to highlight the huge range of things to see and do in the county. And by building on this client relationship and using our design expertise, we think the work we have produced with Cumbria Tourism shows what we are about as a company and what the area is about as a place to visit.’’

The visitor push is the next phase of a joint campaign with VisitEngland.

It is part of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund marketing project: ‘Growing Tourism Locally’.

The three-year programme was backed with a government grant of £19.8million from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) awarded to VisitEngland to promote holidaying in the country.

Ian Stephens, Cumbria Tourism’s managing director, said: "The joint campaign with VisitEngland has enabled The Lake District, Cumbria, to project itself to a wide and varied audience around the UK.

"Whilst the Lake District, Cumbria, is one of the UK's strongest and most recognised destination brands, we can’t rest on our laurels. It’s now more important than ever for us to keep our offering fresh, and the strength of our campaign work plays a big part in that.’’

Last year, tourism business performance across the county saw B&Bs report a five per cent rise, while the camping and caravanning sector was up one per cent.

In some sectors it was the best tourism season since 2006 but the self-catering market did not do as well.

Of their hopes for 2014, a survey by the tourist board found that two thirds are 'looking forward confidently'.

To find out more visit www.golakes.co.uk or to find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit www.cumbriatourism.org

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