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Transport takes centre stage at Eden Tourism Summit

visit Eden importance of travel to Eden District's multi million pound tourism economy was debated today (18 October 2017) by a range of national and regional experts at a special Tourism Summit being staged in the historic setting of Askham Hall near Penrith.

The one day event attended by around 100 delegates, was organised by Eden District Council’s Tourism Team on behalf of the Eden Tourism Network, brought together regional and national speakers from the world of public transport and tourism to discuss how the region’s tourism and transport sectors can work more closely together to benefit the needs of visitors to the area.

Eden District welcomed 4.77 million visitors in 2016, who generated £309.41 million for the local economy. It is important for the region’s dynamic and pro-active tourism industry that supports 4,283 full time equivalent jobs remains focused on meeting and exceeding visitor expectations.

Key speakers at the Summit’s morning session included:

•    Stephen Smith, General Manager, Carlisle and Lake District Airport
•    Stephen Joseph, Executive Director, Campaign for Better Transport
•    Richard Nicholls, Head of Research and Forecasting, Visit Britain
•    Helen Tate, Research Manager, Cumbria Tourism
•    Lindsey Bishop, Hotel and Restaurant Inspector, AA

Some of the guest speakers travelled up from London to attend the Summit, including Richard Nicholls – Head of Research and Forecasting at VisitBritain, who said: “It was great to be back speaking in such an important area for British tourism. In 2016, inbound visits staying in Cumbria reached a new record of 288,000, with these visitors spending £92 million.”

Key speakers at Eden Tourism Summit 2017Following a business to business networking lunch, delegates spent the afternoon discussing ideas and sharing best practice within a range of travel and tourism themed workshops.  A range of high profile organisations have been brought in to facilitate these interactive workshops, including the  Ramblers Association and Sustrans, who jointly hosted a walking and cycling seminar. The Settle Carlisle Railway Development Partnership and Virgin Trains also ran a workshop on rail travel, while Historic England focused their workshop on how heritage is integral to the visitor journey.

Jim Walker, Chair of Eden Tourism Network, said: “The Summit was a brilliant day for businesses attending from throughout Eden and the surrounding area. Now a firm date in the tourism calendar, the Eden Tourism Summit aims to bring the best national and regional presentations right to the doorstep of local businesses so there is no need for long journeys to distant cities to gain the latest briefings on the best ways to improve business performance.”

The event is being hosted by Askham Hall, who are delighted to be opening their doors to the region’s tourism industry.
Jessica Goodfellow, Eden District Council’s Joint Tourism Manager, said: “I would like to thank the team at Askham Hall for providing us with an excellent venue for the Summit and for all their hard work in helping with the preparations. I would encourage local businesses who have attended the Summit and want to learn more about visitor economy to join the Eden Tourism Network.”

For more information about the Eden Tourism Network, contact Eden District Council’s Tourism Team, email:, or call 01768 817817. For more details about things to do and places to stay in Eden District, visit


Notes to Editors

•    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).  
The Eden Tourism Summit – The 2017 event was the 6th Eden Tourism Summit. The event attracts approximately 100 local tourism businesses and has become a significant event in the Eden Tourism calendar.

The Summit was the original idea of the Eden Tourism Network, a group of Eden businesses who work together with Eden District Council’s Tourism Team to drive the visitor economy forward.