CALLS for Cumbria to be declared as a Tourism Action Zone are poised to intensify as the industry’s worth to the county topped £3bn.

Moves to have special status imposed - potentially opening new avenues of attracting more visitors - will be eagerly watched in honeypots such as Silloth and Keswick.

Allerdale accounts for 16 per cent of tourism revenue, with Carlisle on 18 per cent and South Lakeland at 44 per cent.

There were an extra 410,000 “bed nights” across the region last year.

Details of the industry’s worth to the county have been released by Cumbria Tourism after research using the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM).

Nigel Wilkinson, a board member at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “It is really encouraging to see the growth in overnight stays and the results now being delivered by the attract and disperse policy.

“This strong performance clearly demonstrates Cumbria’s important contribution to the emerging Tourism Sector Deal and puts down a clear marker of our potential to become a national Tourism Action Zone.

“Cumbria LEP will be working closely with Cumbria Tourism and our visitor economy partners to make Cumbria’s case”.