Incentives are needed to attract tourists Indeed the tourist sector has had a quiet season and a slow start to the coming year (Gazette, January 3, ‘Stormy years for B&Bs and hotels’).

Can the hotel proprietors collectively and individually pick themselves up and bring people back to a lovely area?

Some already cut prices during quieter times to successfully keep up occu-pancy rates and resultant spend when guests arrive.

Can they work together with other businesses to offer incentives for guests to visit the Lake District? How about a free/discounted journey for a trip on one of the lakes in all but the busiest periods?

Will the local heritage railways offer hoteliers cheap rates for guests booking during the quiet months?

The wildlife park at Dalton currently offers free entry and is drawing plenty of visitors who, in turn, keep the restaurant busy. Leigh-ton Moss reserve is very welcoming if you travel by public transport and their food and drink was also favourably priced.

I accept upmarket busin-esses factor in image and ambience, but the major need for any business is to secure sufficient income for itself, its suppliers and hard-working staff, who can then eat out and spend on leisure facilities.

Here's to plenty more bed nights!

Graham Lund, Rydal