We recently totted up the final figure for the funds raised through our visitor giving scheme in 2013/14, hopeful of a good result.
It came to the grand total of £114,552 which is a welcome 2.5% increase on the previous year’s total. Many thanks as ever to the businesses who have contributed to this achievement – putting time in to ask their customers for donations. Our new interactive map illustrates just how many of you there are in our Green Business Directory.
More recently, the latest figures on the economic impact of tourism in the Lake District have been published by Cumbria Tourism. They confirm what businesses will no doubt already know from their own experience: increased visitor numbers last year (nearly 1 million more than the 15.4 million who came in 2013); and greater spend to the tune of 9.1 %, largely from staying visitors.
These staying visitors are key to the success of our visitor giving scheme as the majority of the funds raised for local conservation projects come from people donating when paying their room bill. So on the one hand it’s great to know that numbers and spend in this group are increasing and on the other it shows ever more clearly that we need to do more to embed visitor giving into Cumbria’s tourism economy. Especially as sources of funding for the natural environment, for which people come here in such vast numbers, are decreasing.
If you have any views on what we could do to recruit more businesses into visitor giving so that it becomes standard practice in the sector, or how we can better support existing fundraising businesses, do get in touch. We would welcome your feedback.