TOURISM businesses are being offered help with last-minute preparations for a potential no-deal Brexit.

With three weeks until Britain is due to leave the EU, Cumbria Tourism has secured £26,000 from the Government's Business Readiness Fund to tackle "several key areas of concern for the county’s £3 billion tourism industry".

They include:

- recruiting and retaining migrant workers as well as staff from the UK and outside the EU to ensure vacancies are filled

- ensuring European visitors still feel welcome and businesses can "confidently advise them" about travel arrangements

- and making changes to finances and data protection.

Cumbria Tourism is to hold its Are You Ready for Brexit Conference on Tuesday, October 29 at the Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa, Windermere, from 10am, with lunch provided.

Any tourism-related businesses can sign up for free at to gain support and advice from a range of experts on the day.

Two customer service workshops are also to be held for "front-end staff" such as receptionists, concierges, bar and restaurant workers.

“No-one knows for sure whether Brexit will take place on October 31 as the Government plans, and whether that will be with a formal EU agreement or without one," said Cumbria Tourism managing director Gill Haigh.

"With this continuing uncertainty it is essential businesses are as prepared as they can be for the different scenarios, so they can remain strong and competitive for the future.”

All three events are to be be complemented by a practical advice guide for business, offering sector-specific tips and expert advice to overcome the challenges of a potential no-deal Brexit. Additional help and support will be shared with tourism businesses through "webinars", newsletters, a new microsite, public relations and social media.

Eric Robinson, president of Cumbria Tourism, recently said one of his top priorities was businesses’ growing concerns about current policy on migrant workers post-Brexit.

"We know from past experience that Cumbria’s tourism businesses are resilient," he said, "but tackling Brexit-related concerns around labour supply, recruitment and skills are fundamental to the future success of our visitor economy.

“Operators are already facing challenges around rising overhead costs and changing consumer habits, so Cumbria Tourism has a vital role to play in helping businesses make sense of the additional challenges - and opportunities - in the days ahead.”