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Lake District hotel group teams up to extend tourism offer to Japanese market

Japanese connections have led to a pair of hospitality and tourism businesses in Cumbria to join forces on a collaborative venture.

As part of its work with the Lake District Japan Forum, English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues has partnered with Hidden Lakeland to offer tailored tours for Japanese tourists from three of its hotels in the south of the county.

The tours, taken from Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, Waterhead Hotel in Ambleside and The Wild Boar Inn Grill & Smokehouse at Crook, will be led by Hidden Lakeland owner Tracey Gannon, an expert tourism guide who is fluent in Japanese.

The small group eco-tours for Japanese or English visitors feature a range of itineraries taking in culinary experiences, creative arts, high adventure and historical excursions.  Highlights include quality dining opportunities, Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth legacy tours and the chance to experience traditional Lake District farming.

Colin Fox from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, who is chairman of the Lake District Japan Forum, explains:  “Tracey has worked in Japan for 14 years, sharing her love of romantic Lakeland poets and the beauty of the lakes and mountains with Japanese graduate students during her time at Kyoto University.

“Her experience, coupled with the ability to provide tours in Japanese, is invaluable to forum members and we’ve tried to involve as many of them as possible in the new venture.”

Tracey Gannon adds:  “We want to give our Japanese visitors a unique flavour of the UK’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the chance to follow in the footsteps of world renowned artists, writers and poets.

“The eco tours and their promotion through English Lakes Hotels will help to reinforce the area’s tourism offer for Japanese travellers and bring them up to date with activities from established venues and new developments.”

The Lake District Japan Forum is made up of a wider group of Lake District businesses which have forged close links with Japanese tour operators over the last 24 years.  Other members include Windermere Lake Cruises, Mountain Goat Tours, Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, The National Trust and the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.