The results of an important countywide survey to discover the most up-to-date habits of the visitors who drive Cumbria's £2.9 billion tourism industry are out.

Conducted once every three years, the Cumbria Visitor Survey is a vital part of Cumbria Tourism’s research work.

Three in ten (29 per cent) said they had only visited new places during their visit and 47 per cent were visiting a mixture of old and new places.

Other key findings from the latest research include:

• 18 per cent of visitors were in Cumbria for the first time.

•A third (32 per cent) travelled from within the North West region.

•Visits from the South East increased from seven per cent in 2015 to 11 per cent in 2018.

• More than two in five overseas visitors were either from the USA (24 per cent) or Australia (19 per cent)

• Overseas visitors spent an average of £810.76 per party per trip, compared to UK visitors who spend £659.15 per party per trip

•10% of visitors used Cumbria Tourism’s GoLakes website to find out about visiting Cumbria

•15% of visitors had a dog or dogs with them

• 94% of all visitors said they felt either very much or ‘quite a lot’ better mentally while visiting the Lake District, Cumbria

• 96% of visitors rated their trip as good or very good.

Cumbria Tourism's Managing Director, Gill Haigh, says, "Cumbria is an area where the visitor economy has particular significance to the local economy and communities. Now with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites we have a game changer for the county as a whole and our ambition is to sustainably grow the value of tourism with specific focus on converting day visitors to staying visitors and delivering the ‘attract and disperse principle’. We also want to grow the visitor economy outside of the summer months, and to increase international visitor stay and spend.

“Our role as the Destination Management Organisation for the county means we are in a unique position of working across local authority boundaries with our partners, to ensure we get the fullest, most accurate picture of visitor behaviour.

"The Cumbria Visitor Survey is a key piece of research to assess how the county is performing against these objectives, as well as to identify long-term trends and ensure we and our member businesses focus resources in the right place at the right time.

“It’s vital that Cumbria Tourism’s marketing, strategy and lobbying work continue to be truly insight-led and visitor-focused. This research gives us current, reliable evidence direct from visitors and enables us to make informed decisions about a wide range of activities and themes. For example, targeting the most relevant international markets and developing high-quality content around topical issues like health and wellbeing which genuinely resonates with the people we want to attract.”

Cumbria Tourism takes the lead on the Cumbria Visitor Survey with support from seven local authority partners. That includes Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, The Lake District National Park Authority, Allerdale Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Copeland Borough Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council.