A tour group from asia at Bowness Pier

Windermere Lake Cruises takes “Come to Cumbria!” message to the world

Published: 22nd November 2023
Categories: Media Release

Windermere Lake Cruises is re-instating trade missions to China and India for the first time since the global pandemic to encourage more international travellers to visit the Lake District and Cumbria.

It’s four years since Cumbria’s top paid for attraction last visited China to target the valuable visitor market there – and over three years since they last visited India.

A chinese tour groups on the Red Cruise around Ambleside (Waterhead)

The trips come at the end of a busy year for the company which has already staged trade trips targeting the USA and Canada and various locations in Europe.

Jennifer Cormack, Sales and Marketing Director for the Bowness-on-Windermere based company, heads out to both countries later this month.

“The Global Pandemic drastically reduced the number of overseas travellers coming to Cumbria and while there has been a steady increase in international travel since then – we need to build on that momentum,” says Jennifer.

“Before the pandemic, China was the second most valuable inbound market for the UK. That market, along with India’s travel trade, are increasingly important to Cumbria and the Lake District’s visitor economy.”

Jennifer Cormack, Sales and Marketing Director for Windermere Lake Cruises

Jennifer heads to Shanghai as part of VisitBritain’s Destination Britain China event (Nov 22-24) which offers key UK tourism attractions the opportunity to meet top buyers from these valuable overseas markets. She attends a similar event in the Indian city of Delhi (Nov 19-21).

The hope is to enhance existing relationships built up before the pandemic, develop new contacts and unlock potential future trade opportunities. Jennifer will also attend the World Travel Market event in London (Nov 6-8) to help showcase Cumbria globally.

Before the Covid pandemic, the Chinese outbound market was booming. Visits abroad almost tripled in 10 years: from 28 million overnight stays in 2009, to well over 100 million in 2019.

Jennifer Cormack says: “China has fully reopened its border since January 2023 and international travel restrictions have been lifted. This is a key moment to develop our relationships with tourism trade representatives there.”

Visits from China to the UK are forecast to recover to 2019 levels by 2026 so they could be highly significant to the visitor economy in Cumbria.

Meanwhile, over half a million tourists from India visited the UK in 2022 reaching 75% of 2019 levels. That market accounted for £764 million in visitor spend which was a record.

BBC Radio Cumbria Interview

In September, Jennifer took the “Come to Cumbria” message to the United States and Canada. She joined other key Cumbrian businesses, including Cumbria Tourism, at the Destination Britain North America 2023 travel trade event in San Francisco to promote the county to that important international market. She’s also staged trade missions this year in Berlin, London and Ireland.

The potential importance to the visitor economy of international visitors is illustrated by research from Cumbria Tourism which shows international visitors usually spend 55% more per person per day than domestic visitors.

A busy upper deck on Miss Cumbria approaching Bowness Pier

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