Cumbria Tourism has launched a virtual Christmas market to promote local festive gifts and provide an alternative to impersonal global online retailers.
The county’s Official Destination Management Organization (DMO) originally launched the initiative in 2020 as part of a relaunch marketing campaign to help support local businesses impacted by the nationwide shutdowns that have put an end to street shopping.
It is now returning for its third year to encourage shoppers who cannot travel to Cumbria in the run up to Christmas to continue to shop locally and support genuine makers, producers and retailers. It also includes gift certificates for overnight stays, attractions and experiences.
In October, November and December, on visitlakedistrict.com, shoppers will find a wide range of independent retailers, hotels, restaurants, attractions, cultural venues, creative talent and artisans all selling gifts and unique online experiences.
Cumbria Tourism Marketing Director Sue Clarke said: ‘It’s difficult for everyone at the moment and businesses in Cumbria continue to need people’s support so we urge shoppers to have a Christmas of Cumbria in every possible way.
“If they can’t make it in person to one of the county’s independent retailers or a great selection of Christmas markets, this is a great online alternative for buying locally made gifts.
“Buying local has many benefits – not only are you helping to support local livelihoods and communities in these difficult times, but you often get more unique and personalized gifts.
“We have many talented makers and producers in our county and our virtual Christmas market has such a wonderful range of creative gifts that reflect the best of Cumbria.
“It’s a great way to cater for those who have an affinity for Cumbria but can’t come and do their Christmas shopping in person.”
Colin Sneath is the founder of A Day’s Walk, an online local produce home delivery business and retail outlet based in Hoker Hall in Cark-in-Cartmel and Ambleside.
He says: “Our company philosophy is to work with local suppliers based here in Cumbria.
“This is our third year that we have taken part in the Cumbria Tourism Virtual Christmas Market and we have found it to be a real benefit not just for us as a business but for any of our vendors who wish to showcase their wares. to a wide range of viewers.
“It’s ideal for targeting people who we know love Cumbria but can’t come here in person over the festive period and want a slice of the county delivered straight to their door.”
It is free for Cumbria Tourism members to advertise gifts online at the County’s Virtual Christmas Market. Non-member businesses can also register as sellers for £30.
All businesses need is the ability to transact online, and a picture and 20 words to describe each item they sell (up to a maximum of two).
To get involved, they can contact the Cumbria Tourism team on: [email protected]