English Lake District China Forum seeks to expand with new members

lake district china forumA GROUP of ten Lake District businesses which have been working together to attract more Chinese visitors is seeking to extend its membership across Cumbria.

The English Lake District China Forum wants to include at least five more organisations from across the Lake District National Park and the county as a whole to achieve greater geographical balance and representation.

With the number of Chinese visitors to the UK expected to treble by 2020, the aim of the forum is to use collective tourism industry expertise to raise awareness of the area and how it can best serve the Chinese market including joint work to offer more creative itineraries.

Through working with the forum, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has, over the last two years, invested £30,000 with Marketing Manchester to enable the Lake District to become a Destination Partner in recent promotional campaigns targeted at China.

Since 2015, the forum has organised events in the UK and China to maintain direct contact and build relationships with influential Chinese market tour operators and decision-makers including trade missions to cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

“The number of Chinese visitors to the Lake District continues to rise,” said English Lake District China Forum chair Jennifer Cormack from Windermere Lake Cruises.

“Our work is aimed specifically at enhancing the exposure of the Lake District and now other areas of Cumbria in Chinese tourism markets.

“We have had more of a focus on Windermere and surrounding areas since inception, so we would really like to see greater representation from more areas to underline the Lake District National Park’s importance as a must-visit destination for Chinese tourists to the UK.”

The English Lake District China Forum’s marketing director, Colin Fox, from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, added:  “The success we’ve had in elevating the English Lake District’s exposure in China and within the UK’s Chinese community since we all started working together has encouraged us to seek a wider membership base.”

There are three levels of membership and Cumbrian businesses will be able to advertise via the forum’s Chinese social media channels for a relatively small financial outlay.

Any organisation keen to join the English Lake District China Forum or to find out more about membership opportunities should contact jennifer.cormack@lakedistrictchinaforum.co.uk

PICTURE: Jennifer Cormack and Colin Fox from the Lake District China Forum talk to tourism decision makers in Beijing

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