AS Cumbria Tourism welcomes the Government’s announcement of a roadmap to the UK’s recovery from Covid-19, the organisation has teamed up with nearly 100 businesses to create extra incentives for visitors to be welcomed back in the future.

While the vast majority of them remain closed at this time, many local attractions, including large and small accommodation providers and restaurants are working with the organisation to ensure that visitors will be warmly welcomed back when the time is right, by making their offering more accessible thanks to gift vouchers and discounts, via local company Regalo.

Prior to the coronavirus lockdown measures in March, tourism contributed £3bn to Cumbria’s economy annually, supporting 65,000 jobs in the county, but by the end of this month alone the loss to the industry will be £1.5bn

Managing director Gill Haigh said: “Our visitors have been so patient in staying away but we know they are also very loyal and looking forward to returning when the time is right, so this is a great way to not only reinforce the message that whilst we can’t welcome them yet, by purchasing a voucher now, they will be directly sustaining and supporting these businesses.

“At the same time I know that many of us wish are looking for gift ideas for family and friends gifts that offer something wonderful to look forward to at this testing time for all.

“This will contribute towards keeping the county’s economy moving, while also helping to form part of our visitors’ dream itineraries.”

Including places to stay, eat and drink and attractions to visit, there are 75 special offers available right now.

Account director for Regalo Harriet Russell said: “Gift vouchers have always been an invaluable source of income for businesses. During the Covid-19 outbreak, their importance has been magnified as loyal customers have literally kept businesses afloat.

“The pandemic has changed the way people view the world and what they place value on, while supporting the local community and infrastructure has now taken precedence.”