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Eden Tourism team go behind the scenes for English Tourism Week

Learning how to clean rooms, manage a spa operation and how to prepare dinner for guests were just some of many fascinating things members of Eden District Council’s Tourism team discovered during a special behind the scenes event at the North Lakes Hotel and Spa in Penrith.

Pint of your finest please - Eden's Tourism Team help out behind the bar at the North Lakes Hotel and Spa for English Tourism WeekThe Eden Tourism Team was joined by Jim Walker – Chair of Eden Tourism Network, as they had the chance to work alongside staff at North Lakes Hotel to help promote English Tourism Week in Eden.

Working in the hotel and hospitality industry is just one of many careers that exist with Eden’s vibrant tourism economy, which attracts nearly 5 million visitors a year and generates nearly £300 million from visitor and business spend. The event at the North Lakes Hotel and Spa was organised to help highlight this important sector and the many jobs that exist within it. As the tourism economy grows, so do the opportunities for careers in tourism, which last year employed 4,200 full time equivalent jobs throughout Eden.

The North Lakes Hotel is a 4* full service property, with 84 Bedrooms, 10 meeting rooms and an extensive spa with over 1000 members. It employs 130 people and was purpose built 31 years ago. It remains under the same family ownership of Daniel Thwaites and is part of a group of seven provincial hotels which was awarded the prestigious AA Hotel Group of the year 2016/17 for its commitment to product and service delivery.

The day started with a tour of the hotel led by NLH’s People and Training Manager, Sue Gardham. Eden’s Tourism team were shown round the hotel and it gave them a real impression of the sheer diverse range of work that is carried out to run an effective and professional hotel operation.

Following the tour, the group was split up to work with various hotel teams including housekeeping and spa and fitness. Housekeeping is a vital part of the hotel, ensuring that its many rooms are cleaned and presented to the highest standards which are expected of a 4 star hotel. The team were amazed with the sheer amount of detail that goes into cleaning rooms but also the tight timescale rooms have to be cleaned in between check out and check in times. To round off the day, some of Eden’s tourism team were given the unique opportunity to work alongside hotel chefs and the catering team, helping to prepare and serve food to guests. Team members discovered just how much preparation is done to serve locally sourced, quality food to hotel diners and how much pressure staff are under, to ensure food is served to the very best standards expected by guests.

“We have been delighted to be given this unique opportunity to go behind the scenes at one of Penrith’s largest hotels,” said Charlie Thornton, Tourism Development Officer at Eden District Council. “Days like this provide our team and key council Members with a valuable insight into different sectors of Eden’s tourism industry. By working closely alongside our tourism operators and being able to understand their working environment first hand, it allows us to more clearly understand their needs and opportunities for growth and development in the future."

Celebrating English Tourism Week at the North Lakes Hotel and Spa in Penrith.The day highlighted just how important hotels such as the North Lakes Hotel and Spa are to Eden’s tourism economy and demonstrated how rewarding working in the hotel and hospitality sector can be. The North Lakes Hotel and Spa is just one of many quality inspected hotels in Eden which, along with a wide range of accommodation available throughout the local area, help continue to welcome people to Eden whether on business or leisure trips.

To find out more about tourism in Eden, discover more at or visit one of the area’s Tourist Information Centres located in Alston, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen and Penrith.


Notes to Editors:

English Tourism Week (25 March to 2 April) is co-ordinated by VisitEngland and is designed to:

Raise the profile and understanding of tourism with decision makers, the media, those who work in the industry and those considering a career in the industry;

Increase awareness amongst consumers including local residents who can discover the delights on their doorstep and visitors from further afield who can experience England, its variety, accessibility and value;

Provide a national framework for local destinations, businesses and organisations to use to build their own marketing and PR campaigns; and

Provides tourism businesses with a free marketing and communication “hook” to heighten awareness of their own activities.

Visitors - Importance to Eden’s economy

During 2015, Eden attracted 4.64 million tourism visits (visitor numbers up 3.6% on 2014), with a massive £300 million being generated within the local economy through visitor and tourism business expenditure. An economic impact of + 8.6% between 2014 and 2015. During 2015, tourism accounted for more than 4,200 full-time equivalent jobs in Eden.

(Source: STEAM)