Tourism businesses are being encouraged to explore the opportunities and challenges facing the visitor economy at this year’s Eden Tourism Summit.

The event, which takes place at the North Lakes Hotel & Spa next week, will have a strong focus on sustainability and a line-up of national and international speakers, who will address the domestic and overseas tourism potential for Eden.

Mike Innerdale, director of the National Trust’s north region, is among the speakers along with Kurt Janson, director of the Tourism Alliance, Anna Harris, market intelligence consultant with VisitBritain and Helen Tate, research manager at Cumbria Tourism.

Each year the tourism summit attracts more than 100 delegates, who explore industry issues with the members of the Eden Tourism Network and the wider business community.


Jim Walker, the network’s chairman, believes the summit comes at a crucial time and said: “For those of us working in the visitor economy, making business decisions against the current backdrop is incredibly difficult. This special programme is aimed at providing the latest research and intelligence to enable us all to be briefed to as high a standard as possible and help us plan ahead.

“Eden’s tourism economy is strong, but only by staying up to date can we protect this strength and the consequent jobs and services in our local community.”

Councillor Mary Robinson, portfolio holder for commercial services, will also be speaking at the event and is looking forward to discussing the theme of sustainability with local businesses.

She said: “The district council is committed to working towards a zero-carbon Eden and we have a strong theme of sustainability this year which is bound to be high on the agenda of visitors and tourism businesses alike.

“It presents us with an opportunity to show that we can be a green option for people looking to holiday in the UK, but also a challenge to find ways of working together to protest our beautiful landscape.”

In the afternoon a series of workshops are set to prompt discussions and ideas with topics including how national tourism policy affects us locally, understanding overseas visitors and how to meet their needs. The discussion around sustainability will include a case study from one of Eden’s award-winning businesses.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome our speakers to Eden,” said Jessica Goodfellow, Eden District Council’s joint tourism manager, adding: “The calibre and range of speakers and workshop presenters is outstanding. The summit promises to provide our businesses with a stimulating, thought-provoking and exciting day.”

Sharon Brook, head of sales at North Lakes Hotel & Spa, said she was delighted to be hosting the eighth Eden Tourism Summit, adding: “We are committed to supporting tourism and promoting this beautiful district so we’re pleased to be able to offer our award-winning leisure and business facilities to host the conference.”

The 2019 summit will take place on Thursday (October 17) from 10.15am to 3.30pm. Registration for the Eden Tourism Summit is open and the cost per delegate is £30 plus VAT. Spaces at the summit are limited and businesses can apply by contacting the Eden Tourism Team on 01768 817817 no later than Monday, October 14.