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The 2021 Eden Tourism Summit takes place virtually

The tenth Eden Tourism Summit has taken place online with more than 60 of Eden’s tourism businesses signing up to attend. 

The Summit, organised by Eden District Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Team took place on Wednesday 1 December 2021.  The theme was Tourism in Eden: Adapting to the new ‘normal’ and capitalising on new opportunities going forward.  Delegates heard from local and national experts about how the tourism industry has adapted in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Other important topics discussed included current issues around Brexit, staff recruitment and Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) for Cumbria.

Kurt Janson, director of The Tourism Alliance, addressed the current challenges and opportunities faced by the visitor economy and answered questions from delegates.

Kurt commented “The Eden Tourism Summit shows how a Council and local businesses can work together to develop a progressive, adaptable and resilient local tourism industry that helps maximise the benefits of tourism to the local economy.”

Other speakers included Eden District Council’s Interim Chief Executive Ian Frost and Eden District Council’s Interim Economic Development Manager Greg Mcdonald.  They took part in a Q&A session on Local Government Reorganisation and what it means for Eden’s businesses.  Glen Franklin, Village Director at Whinfell Forest, Center Parcs spoke about the challenges, mitigation and what the new norm ‘might look like.’ Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism gave a local insight into visitor numbers and the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry.

The summit was chaired by Jim Walker, chair of the Eden Tourism Network.  He commented “the pandemic, Brexit and labour shortages have created the most challenging period in recent history for the District’s visitor economy.  But thanks to a superb selection of informative and knowledgeable speakers this year’s Eden Tourism Summit has sought to help businesses prepare as much as possible for whatever else lies ahead. The close working relationship between Eden District Council and local tourism operators is a valuable resource and Eden Tourism provides a vital source of support to help protect jobs and therefore the vitality of the area’s communities.”

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