Ahead of the Easter weekend Cumbria Tourism is calling on all accommodation providers and booking websites to ensure there is no confusion around the county being closed to visitors.
Whilst many accommodation providers and Online Travel Agents (OTAs) are complying with Government guidance, Cumbria Tourism is reminding businesses that they all have a part to play in keeping communities safe. Some accommodation providers which are closed may not have updated their online availability to reflect this, and OTAs also have a responsibility to ensure that their websites clearly show that it is not possible to travel to Cumbria at this time.
Cumbria has a “super-aging” population and this, together with the fact the county’s health services do not possess the capacity to service non-residents during a pandemic means that it is vital that visitors postpone their visit until the danger has passed.
Cumbria Tourism MD Gill Haigh says; “With the Lake District, Cumbria such a popular destination there are many businesses and websites who share our passion for the county, but we are aware that some of these are not up to date with the latest guidance, causing confusion and anxiety. As the county’s only official Destination management Organisation (DMO), and with the situation changing so quickly, we want to ensure that people receive the latest information and advice. Our visitor-facing websites www.visitlakedistrict.com and www.golakes.co.uk make it abundantly clear that the county is currently closed and we will continue broadcasting this message until it safe to travel once again.
“If any businesses are currently accepting bookings during this lockdown period, they must cancel or postpone these immediately. To anyone considering a visit in the coming weeks our message is simple: now is not the time to travel to Cumbria. We look forward to welcoming tourists back to enjoy our glorious landscape but only when it is safe and legal to do so.”
UKinbound CEO Joss Croft commented; “It’s an incredibly testing time for all of us and we know that many tourism businesses of all sizes are facing great hardship, but we all have a duty of care to uphold and reinforce the stay at home message. It’s imperative that businesses do not accept bookings for stays or encourage visitation of any kind during the lockdown period, and that they save that world-class welcome for when visitors can properly travel.”
Cumbria Tourism has been working in partnership with the Cumbria Police, the Lake District National Park Authority and others to spread this message and help reduce the chance of infections spreading. They have also developed an online resource for businesses affected by the situation, available at www.cumbriatourism.org/coronavirus.