Cumbria’s tourism industry is gaining momentum, with new reporting reavealing a spike in hotel bookings during the first half of the year.
Provisional figures from Cumbria Tourism’s research team show that while room occupancy for serviced accommodation is currently running 2% up on 2016, last month’s occupancy rates reached 74%.
June 2017 matched last year’s figure, which was already the highest recorded in June for more than a decade.
The report also found that camping and caravanning in the county had a bumper start to 2017. Pitch occupancy was up almost 20% between January and June compared to the same months last year.
Research manager at Cumbria Tourism, Helen Tate, said: “The data we have gathered from tourism businesses shows the underlying strength and resilience of our sector. Whilst the main growth has come from camping, caravanning, and self-catering, there have been increases across the board and these figures suggest there is a great deal to feel positive about.”
Self-catering also had a strong performance, with occupancy rates running 9% higher than the same period in 2016. The figures reached 70% in June – a first for self-catering in the county.
The news comes hot on the heels of recent figures from the International Passenger Survey (IPS), carried out by the National Office of Statistics, which indicates a 26% increase in overseas trips to Cumbria in 2016.
Tate adds: “At the same time, the International Passenger Survey indicates continuing growth in our international markets; a trend underlined by our most recent Cumbria Visitor Survey and evidence from individual tourism businesses. With two World Heritage sites, Cumbria now has an even more compelling message to help attract visitors from across the globe as we look forward to the next 12 months.”