Farron: Tourists to spend record amount in 2015 - we must ensure Cumbria does not miss out
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has urged local councils and the local economic partnership to do all they can to make sure that 'Cumbria is put in the shop window' as the government states spending by tourists visiting the UK is expected to reach record levels in 2015.
Spending by overseas visitors will top £22bn for the first time, according to forecasts by tourism body VisitBritain. Tourists spent £21bn in 2013, while this year's total is forecast to be about £21.3bn.
There has also been a surge in the number of Chinese tourists and the amount they are spending. They spent £492m in 2013, up from £184m in 2010. Over that period, the number of visits from Chinese people rose by 79.1% to 196,000.
Overall, the number of visits by people from overseas is expected to increase next year, with 35.1 million trips expected - up 2.5% on this year and compared with 29.8 million in 2010.
In Cumbria the tourism sector supports 32,805 Full Time Equivalent jobs. Within the Lake District national park it accounts for 15,424 jobs and in South Lakeland specifically 14,826 jobs. The tourism sector is worth £3 billion to the Cumbrian economy and £1 billion to South Lakeland.
Tim said: "Tourism has grown at a faster rate than other industries since the end of the recession and is one of the UK's main export earners. I want to pay tribute to all the entrepreneurs, business owners, hoteliers and staff who do such amazing work. I regularly press ministers to provide more funding to allow us to turn the Lake District into a UK 'attack brand' for advertising and tourism."