A DRIVE to make Morecambe Bay one of the fastest growing visitor hotspots in Britain steps up a gear today.

Plans to grow tourism spend by £15 million a year and increase visitors numbers by three per cent are in the pipeline.

Tourism businesses wanting to promote the area have been given a huge helping hand at an event in Grange today, which will be repeated next week (April 8) at Holgates Holiday Park in Silverdale.

Special information has been put together to pass onto businesses which highlights tourist-friendly info, such as where to taste Morecambe Bay shrimps, locally-produced icea cream or to where to head for an exhiliarating walk.

It contains detailed info about the Bay’s most dramatic views, amazing wildlife sites, its rich cultural and culinary heritage, as well as the best places for outdoor recreation, like hiking and cycling.

Called 'The Morecambe Bay Sense of Place toolkit' and 'Nature on your Doorstep', the guides celebrate the area’s unique tourism offers.

It focus on nine areas around the Bay from Walney to Wyre, and provides ideas for several days of exploration in each area.

Jenny Wain, from the RSPB, has been involved in the project on behalf of the Kendal-based Morecambe Bay Partnership, and the bay’s local nature partnership.

She said: “If we want to promote Morecambe Bay as a destination, we need to know what we are selling.

“Theses resources will help a local B&B owner to share with their guests where to find the most exhilarating walk with a stunning viewpoint, or a great place to taste Morecambe Bay shrimps or locally produced ice cream.

“If a visitor has a great time in Morecambe Bay, they will be much more likely to recommend the destination to their friends and return for a longer visit.”

The guides were developed with the help of over 50 local businesses in the Morecambe Bay Nature Tourism Business Network and the results of a visitor survey in 2012.

It found that more than two thirds of people visited Morecambe Bay for its beautiful scenery and more than half came to enjoy its peace, quiet and tranquillity.

Nearly nine out of ten people were interested in seeing wildlife, while a similar number expressed an interest in self-guided itineraries.

They were due to be officially launched at a nature tourism business network event at Castle Head Field Centre in Grange today.

It takes place again on April 8 at Holgates Holiday Park in Silverdale.

The Morecambe Bay Partnership - a small charity is planning to secure £10m of investment over the forthcoming five years that it says will create or safeguard over 8,000 jobs.

For more information, contact secretary@baytourism.co.uk