THE Holiday Inn Express in Barrow is at the forefront of a new campaign to attract holidaymakers to Cumbria after it emerges from more than 100 days of lockdown.

The hotel has launched the Great British Vacation to provide guests with a special package of offers and it has teamed up with Cumbria Tourism in declaring the county very much open for business.

The Holiday Inn Express management has also welcomed the government’s 15 per cent cut in VAT which will reduce the expense of staying in hotels, the price of meals and the cost of tickets for tourist attractions.

Occupancy at the hotel was picking up even before the introduction of the VAT changes, and it hopes a combination of its Great British Vacation campaign and the government’s incentives will ensure its rooms remain occupied throughout the rest of the summer.

“This is our first tourist season since we started and it’s obviously not how we thought it was going to go,” said general manager Mark Winter.

“But life is getting back to normal and what could be more normal than coming for a visit to Cumbria – one of the world’s most beautiful places.

"We welcomed more than 200 guests over the weekend which showed how ready people were to get out.

"I think there’s also a sense that COVID-19 has ruled our lives over the last few months and – as long as we’re sensible and safe – that can’t go on.”

Special offers for guests staying at the hotel include free parking, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free access to a full range of digital TV channels.

They will also receive discounts at South Lakes Safari Zoo, Furness Abbey and Piel Castle.