Sustainability and innovation on the agenda at Eden Tourism Summit

ETS 2022 GroupSustainability and innovation were the themes of this year’s Eden Tourism Summit as businesses from across Eden and Cumbria attended the high profile event at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest on Wednesday 19 October.

This year’s event was the 10th annual summit and the first to be held in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic. Organised by Eden District Council’s (EDC) Economic Development and Tourism team, the event attracted a wide range of speakers, including Tim Narey, Project Director at Eden Project North; Charlie Rogers, Consultant at Small World Consulting; Glen Franklin, Village Director at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest and Helen Tate, Tourism Research Analyst at Cumbria Tourism.

Together, they brought a national and regional perspective to the latest thinking around sustainability and innovation in Eden’s visitor economy. A panel discussion also provided delegates with an opportunity to put questions to the event’s speakers.

Leader of Eden District Council, Cllr Virginia Taylor, who also spoke at the Summit, said: “I was delighted to have been able to speak at this year’s Eden Tourism Summit.

“In recognition of the vital role of the visitor economy in Eden, the Council’s Inspiring Eden economic development programme is providing funding for a wide range of projects that will benefit tourism in the area – from improved transport connectivity to providing changing spaces for visitors with limited mobility.”

This year’s summit, which marked 10 years since the first Eden Tourism Summit, held at Lowther Castle in 2012, will also be the last summit in this format staged by Eden District Council before it becomes part of the new Westmorland and Furness Council from 1 April 2023.

Event chair, Jim Walker, Chair of the Eden Tourism Network and President of Cumbria Tourism, said: “The Eden Tourism Summit has been a highlight over many years for tourism businesses in the district. It provides an invaluable opportunity for tourism business to review what the main season has delivered and to plan for the year ahead.”

The Eden Tourism Summit took place in collaboration with Eden Tourism Network (ETN). The network comprises of more than 100 representatives from tourism businesses in Eden and provides an opportunity to share information and discuss the latest tourism developments and issues. The group meets quarterly at various locations around the district.

Senior Tourism and Economic Development Officer for Eden District Council, Jessica Goodfellow, added: “The Eden Tourism Summit has become an essential feature in the calendars of tourism businesses in Eden. It’s a unique opportunity for those working in, and connected to the visitor economy in the area to come together to discuss the many challenges and opportunities the industry faces. We are looking forward to staging a new event in the Westmorland and Furness Council  which will embrace an exciting new destination area and many new businesses.

“I’d like to thank the speakers, delegates and trade stand holders who made this year’s summit such a resounding success. Thanks also to Center Parcs for hosting and supporting the summit at their beautiful Whinfell Forest site.”

The Eden Tourism Summit is just one of many initiatives that the Council’s Economic Development and Tourism team are running this year as part of its Inspiring Eden work programme. To find out more, go to


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