CUMBRIA'S tourism businesses are being urged to make their voices heard over the recruitment crisis.

As COVID-19 business support comes to an to end - despite many employers struggling to recruit and retain staff - the county’s official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) is encouraging businesses to share their concerns as it continues to lobby the Government.

During the pandemic Cumbria Tourism has achieved real success. It has argued for more flexible furlough, a relaxation of immigration policy, financial support extensions and more - all informed by its ongoing research carried out in conjunction with Lamont Pridmore.

Now as businesses continue to face new and existing challenges, including a severe staffing shortage, Cumbria Tourism calling on firms to speak out.

Jim Walker, Cumbria Tourism chairman, said: “Armed with this research we have been able to influence policy decisions at the highest level to better support our members alongside informing national campaigns.

“Direct feedback straight from businesses is the best source we have. This continues to be a very fast-moving situation, and our tracker survey allows us to take a snapshot of the industry to highlight the most pressing concerns at any point in time as we arrange meetings with MPs and key decision makers. We know that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport uses this research.

“Businesses are far from out of the woods. Many are still operating at reduced capacity and with the ‘pingdemic’ worsening an ongoing recruitment crisis we are continuing to call on the Government to further support our £3 billion industry.”

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