Tourism bosses in the North Lakes are being urged to take part in an anonymous survey which it is claimed could help them survive their first coronavirus winter.
The fact-finding business tracker survey is being run by Cumbria Tourism, which plans to use the data to strengthen its case for more government support for the Lake District in the coming months.
Managing director Gill Haigh wants more local tourism and hospitality operators to complete the survey and provide more details and feedback about the impact of recent COVID-19 developments.
These include the rule of six, the 10pm curfew, and restrictions on weddings and events, as well as the chancellor’s new Job Support Scheme.
She said: “This in-depth survey is hugely important in helping us to get Cumbria’s voice heard on the national stage.
Direct feedback on a range of issues, from cancellations and loss of income, to forward booking trends and ongoing capacity issues are vital as we continue to keep up the pressure on national decision-makers to help them understand Cumbria’s very specific needs and reliance on the visitor economy.
“We know businesses continue to be under immense pressure but each and every completed survey will help us make a difference as we head into the challenging winter months. The responses are all entirely anonymous but really do enable tourism operators to make their collective voices heard.”
Working alongside Cumbrian accountancy firm Lamont Pridmore, Cumbria Tourism has been carrying out in-depth business surveys at each stage of the pandemic — as lockdown began, when hospitality businesses reopened and now, as the industry heads into the challenging winter period.
With just over three weeks left until the furlough scheme ends and amid changing government guidance, Cumbria Tourism says it is more important than ever to gather “real-time” data about business performance.
It says some restrictions have caused consumer confusion and dented confidence — and adds that there has been media speculation of a possible two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown over October half-term which would further impact on an already fragile tourism and hospitality industry.
Data from the survey will enable Cumbria Tourism to collate clear, up-to-date evidence about the impact of COVID-19 and strengthen calls for flexible, targeted support from the Government.
Graham Lamont, chief executive of Lamont Pridmore, said: “Robust research enables Cumbria Tourism to evidence the continuing effects of the pandemic on the tourism and hospitality sector and lobby government for much needed continued support.”