A special event attended by more than 100 guests and 14 exhibitors from across The Lake District was held at The View from the Shard in London last night (September 10), by the English Lake District China Forum.
Made up of businesses from all over the World Heritage National Park, the Forum works together to promote the area to Chinese visitors and welcomed guests to a champagne reception at the top of Western Europe’s tallest building.
Guests were transported to the 68th floor in high-speed elevators, travelling at six-metres per second up to the viewing galleries offering the highest and greatest views of the city to celebrate the Lake District’s third year of UNESCO World Heritage Site Status.
There, they were able to network with existing partners and new businesses while showcasing what The Lake District has to offer to international visitors. New products, services and accommodation providers were also among the highlights, along with the launch of new travel itineraries, fantastic new food options and details of unique experiences.
Exhibitors in attendance included Baha Pacific Street food, Brockhole-on-Windermere, Cumbria Crystal, English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, Lake District Country Hotels, Lake District National Park Authority, Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats Steam & Stories, Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, Lamplighter Dining Rooms, Mountain Goat, National Trust, Reay’s Coaches, Windermere Lake Cruises and The World of Beatrix Potter.
Earlier this year, Windermere Lake Cruises revealed the number of Chinese visitors being welcomed by the attraction had reached a record high – increasing by 286% since June 2016. English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues – who work closely with Windermere Lake Cruises as part of the English Lake District China Forum also reported an 85% increase in Chinese bookings across their properties since 2016.
Meanwhile, figures from Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway showed overall group ticket sales with China rose by 11% last year, with Chinese advance bookings up by 6%.
Jennifer Cormack, Chair of the English Lake District China Forum and Sales & Marketing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises (pictured), says, “We’re absolutely committed to enhancing the cultural understanding between China and the UK to ensure we remain a top destination for our international guests. The dedication of local businesses such as those at this event continues to demonstrate our determination to continually improve our appeal to overseas markets in the coming years”.
The English Lake District China Forum also won an international award at the Chinese Tourist Welcome Awards ceremony this year for the quality of service its member businesses provide to visitors from China and their tour operators.