Two leading national figures from the world of tourism and hospitality will headline Cumbria Tourism’s next major members’ meeting.

The CEO of UK Hospitality, Kate Nicholls, will join director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) Bernard Donoghue in highlighting ways that businesses can look ahead to 2021 in a positive light.

As one of the sector’s leading trade associations in the country, UK Hospitality represents the interests of the hospitality businesses while ALVA’s members include many of the UK's most popular attractions including museums, galleries, castles, zoos, historic houses and heritage sites.

Both Kate and Bernard will update Cumbria Tourism’s members on the work being done at national level to support the sector now and going forward.

Free to attend for all of Cumbria Tourism’s 2,500 member businesses, the virtual event on November 19 aims to support businesses as we make our way through the rollercoaster year but also to inspire with new ways to innovate and stay competitive.

Cumbria Tourism’s research manager Helen Tate will also be sharing the latest analysis of Covid-19’s effects on visitor habits and attitudes to help businesses better understand the market, while the organisation’s marketing and communications team will highlight how businesses can use this information to make the most of new and emerging trends and opportunities in a rapidly-evolving tourism landscape.

Evidence from the shop floor will also be provided by six Cumbrian operators representing different sectors. Each will share their positive learning experiences of 2020 to help support businesses looking ahead to 2021. They include Travel Chapter for the self-catering sector, Lake District Estates for camping and caravanning, the Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa for accommodation, Forestry England for attractions and outdoors, Wordsworth Grasmere for culture and heritage, and Grasmere Gingerbread for food and drink.

Managing director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, said: “We are particularly delighted to welcome both Kate and Bernard as our key speakers this month, both of whom have worked tirelessly on behalf of the industry, using their seats at the top table with the Government, to help us repeatedly make our case.

“We’re also delighted to be revealing our fascinating latest visitor insight and helping businesses explore how the county and they can use this to positive effect as part of the industry recovery.

"I am personally really looking forward to hearing from our six businesses.

"Our members are the ones at the coal face and they know better than any of us just how tough this year has been but Cumbria is nothing if not resilient so it’s going to be brilliant to hear some of their insight into how they have navigated their way through and what they see as some of the opportunities for next year and beyond.”

Q&A sessions with every speaker will also be held during the meeting. Cumbria Tourism members can book up to two free places by calling 01539 822222.