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Summit addresses future challenges and opportunities for Eden’s visitor economy

Eden's Tourism Businesses embraced the challenges and opportunities facing a developing first class visitor destination at the Eden Tourism Summitseventh annual Eden Tourism Summit held at the Shap Wells Hotel on Wednesday 17 October 2018. The event also premiered the brand new Visit Eden promotional video which businesses will also be able to feature on their websites.

Lord Thurso, Chairman of Visit Scotland, who opened the morning presentation session said: "I've very much enjoyed the Eden Tourism Summit and the opportunity to meet so many businesses across the tourism network. The destination has a fantastic offering showing continuing development and innovative ways of attracting visitors."

The one day event organised by Eden District Council's tourism team on behalf of the Eden Tourism Network, brought together over 100 businesses to enjoy a morning of exciting presentations and very lively debate in the afternoon workshops. During the course of the event delegates positively confirmed their commitment to continue to grow an industry that in 2017 generated £336.6m to the local economy and welcomed 4.889m visitors.

Lord Thurso, Chairman of Visit Scotland spoke about the importance of rural destinations and their vital contribution to the visitor economy and The Director of the Tourism Alliance, Kurt Janson gave great insight into tourism policy at governmental level.

Deirdre Wells OBE, was delighted to come to Eden to address delegates and, spoke about the huge opportunities which stunning rural locations like the Lake District have to increase the economic impact of tourism.

Deirdre said: "Working in partnership with organisations across the UK will be key in ensuring that we can continue to drive tourism growth, in an ever more competitive environment."

Following a business to business working lunch the afternoon workshops provided a platform for businesses to express their view points and raise questions.

The workshops were highly interactive. Delegates received some background information about the Chinese visitor market and were given tips from Tim Manley, Marketing Manchester, about what these high spending visitors are looking for and how to prepare to welcome them.

A lively and constructive debate was had by delegates attending a workshop that focused on the challenges and opportunities that Brexit could bring.

Jennie Riding of Artlegarth Lodges and Colin Cheyne from Cumbria Chamber of Commerce inspired businesses in their workshop to develop through funding and innovation.

Jim Walker, Chair of the Eden Tourism Network summed up the event and closed the conference by stating: "At a time when tourism businesses face greater challenges than at virtually any other time in recent history, communication and partnership working are vital to ensure Eden benefits from the economic advantage a strong tourism event can bring."