Cumbria Tourism has recruited Irish travel writer and broadcaster Fionn Davenport to lead a drive to attract international visitors to World Heritage Sites across northern England, writes Angie Cronin.
Thanks to money from the government’s £40 million Discover England Fund, the £250,000 project puts Cumbria Tourism at the forefront of the Northern World Heritage Collection campaign, which was announced earlier this summer.
The new marketing initiative will tell the story of England’s culture and heritage through the north’s Unesco World Heritage Sites and will enable Cumbrian businesses to improve the way they target groups and independent travellers from the US and Ireland.
Davenport, who has recently worked on two other Discover England Fund projects, will be working with other northern World Heritage sites such as Liverpool and Durham, surrounding businesses and tourism bodies over the next six months to woo US and Irish visitors.
His activity will include business and itinerary development, training and trade shows, marketing, online content, film and PR. It will also involve working alongside tour operators and agents to help visitors book their trips to multiple World Heritage sites across the north quickly and easily.
Cumbria Tourism managing director Gill Haigh said: “We are thrilled to welcome a travel expert of Fionn’s calibre to the team, to help both Cumbria and our northern neighbours raise their profile on the global stage.
“For international visitors, World Heritage status has huge resonance and it’s vital that we work collaboratively with other key locations from across the north of England to attract higher-spending overseas tourists who want to tick World Heritage sites such as Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District off their list.”
Davenport is a Lonely Planet writer, contributor to the travel pages of Irish newspapers and broadcaster with RTE Radio 1.
He said: “Helping to raise awareness of northern England’s rich cultural and natural patrimony is a privilege and something that I’m very proud to be associated with.”