A leading tourism website has seen a 271 per cent increase in enquiries for Easter breaks to the Lake District, as confidence in the Cumbrian tourist industry following the floods last year starts to return.
iknow-uk, the UK’s leading tourism and accommodation directory, has seen a huge surge in enquiries from holidaymakers looking to spend Easter in the Lakes, compared with the same time last year – and is predicting this growth in interest will continue into the summer as consumer confidence continues to return.
Marcus Simmons, managing director of iknow-uk, said: “It’s reassuring to know that holidaymakers are starting to regain confidence in Cumbria as a holiday destination following the terrible flooding last year.
“Many businesses were devastated by the floods, and at the end of last year we’d seen a real drop in the number of travellers searching for breaks in the region. But, these new figures show that confidence is starting to return, which is a real positive for the hundreds of local people running tourism and hospitality businesses in the area.
“There were so many small business owners from the region who weren’t directly impacted by the floods in terms of water damage, but have experienced a knock on effect as people presume that the whole of Cumbria was affected.”
One such business is the Lingmoor Guest House in Windermere. Owners Paula and Graham Smith have owned the holiday accommodation for just over a year, after purchasing it following an appearance on the TV programme ‘A Place in the Sun – Home or Away’.
Paula explained: “We wrote to the programme as we were undecided as to whether we should purchase a property in the Lake District or in Italy. We decided to settle down in Windermere as it’s such a beautiful location, with amazing views and a great local community spirit.
“When the floods happened last year it was devastating for the region, and some of our close friends were directly affected. Businesses such as ours, that weren’t directly affected by the flood waters, have rallied round to support others in the region. There has been a real sense of community spirit as people try to support each other.
“Despite not being flooded ourselves, we still noticed a big drop in enquiries from holidaymakers at the end of last year, and into the beginning of this year. Thankfully, things are picking up for us now, and we’re pleased that we now have a steady stream of bookings right through until the summer.
“There are many people still rebuilding their lives after the terrible floods, and it’s reassuring to see that the local economy is starting to be rebuilt. We’re looking forward to welcoming people at Easter, and hope that the region continues to receive lots of visitors throughout the year.”
Founded by Marcus in 2003, iknow-uk now operates 14 regional websites for accommodation providers including hotels, guest houses, holiday cottages and B&Bs. The sites are visited by almost a million users each month.