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Cumbria set to benefit from influx of international visitors
Updated 11:36am Friday 23rd May 2014 in Opinion
There was some good news for the county’s tourism industry this week.
It appears more international visitors than ever before are heading to the North West - and Cumbria is set to cash in on the boom.
A new report reveals more visitors from China and the Middle East are heading to the area.
The county already receives about eight per cent of visitors from overseas markets, including the USA, Germany, Netherlands and France.
Now Cumbria Tourism is planning marketing initiatives to attract visitors from emerging markets, including China. Those plans are likely to be helped by a relaxing of visa restrictions, which will make it easier for Chinese nationals to visit the UK.
Meanwhile, the increase in the number of films and TV shows set in the area - including Jamaica Inn, Trying Again and Snow White and the Huntsman - is raising the profile of the Lake District at home and abroad.
Some visitors are attracted by the area’s cultural heritage.
Others come to enjoy the ‘outdoor experience’ - and this week’s news that flyboarding is to be made available at Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre will add to the mix of adventures on offer.
But many are attracted by the natural beauty - the lakes, fells and waterfalls - and while some of this landscape is effectively man-made, one wonders what proposals to ‘re-wild’ parts of the area would have on the tourist trade.
Some might argue there are enough tourists here already - that roads can get congested and there are simply too many visitors during the summer months.
But Cumbria and the Lake District are reliant on tourism, by far the area’s largest industry.
It is important any new tourism initiatives are developed as sensitively as possible to protect the very thing visitors come to enjoy.
But, for now, let’s be thankful that the bedrock of our local econony appears to be in pretty good shape.
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