A CUMBRIA internet domain name would be of little use to the county’s hospitality businesses, according to high-profile hotelier Jonathan Denby.
The president of the Lakes Hospitality Association said the idea of .cumbria — called for by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron — left him ‘underwhelmed’.
He described the proposal as ‘really rather dull’ and suggested far more appropriate domain names ought to be registered by local tourism businesses.
“The idea of a .cumbria domain name is underwhelming to me,” said Mr Denby.
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“Surveys show that only 15 per cent of the population know where Cumbria is whereas far more people know about the Lake District, so a domain name that recognises this would be far more relevant to the tourist sector.”
He said businesses were now ‘pretty well free to do what they want’ with domain names and his own company, South Lakes Hotels, had already registered one domain name, lakedistrict.holidays, and had pre-ordered three more — lakedistrict.hotels, lakedistrict.deal and southlakes.hotels.
Mr Denby spoke out in response to Mr Farron’s suggestion that a .cumbria domain name was just what the county needed to raise its profile in the hi-tech communications world.
He said it would benefit local businesses and help to promote the county as a tourist destination.
County specific websites could increase awareness of the county as a destination, helping build the brand and boost the local economy, said the MP.
He pointed out that .wales and .cymru websites would be available for Welsh businesses and institutions later this year, with .london website domains also being launched for websites associated with the capital.
Mr Farron said he was asking Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Nominet, the UK’s internet registration organisation, to see if Cumbria could follow suit.
He said: “Local businesses already benefit from our strong identity and reputation, particularly as a tourist destination and amongst our excellent farming, food and drink businesses.
“Sealing our distinctive identity through a .cumbria domain name could help local businesses and organisation stand out from the crowd and get more people buying Cumbrian produce and visiting our area, which would help our local economy.”