COPELAND Council has helped one business develop a new idea that’s perfect for lockdown.
The council’s Tourism Development Officer has been advising businesses on how to adapt, expand and capitalise on emerging markets during the pandemic.
Tess Pike, a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, took advantage of the service and is now offering virtual guided tours around Copeland.
Copeland’s Tourism Development Officer, Katie Read, said: “Tess’ idea to use her tour guide skills in a completely Covid-safe way was fantastic. Being able to adapt in this way is how tourism businesses will survive and thrive after the pandemic. I really enjoyed supporting Tess in developing her business, and I’m sure her virtual tours will give people a taste to return and see the real thing when it is safe to travel.”
Tess said: “The council has been a tremendous support in helping me get my virtual tours of the Lake District Coast off the ground.
"Katie’s enthusiasm and industry experience, along with her invaluable practical suggestions, really helped. She knows what works, and is an effective sounding board for my ideas. Her familiarity with current tourism initiatives, and with the local area, helped steer me in the right direction when choosing the themes for my tours, and direct my social media marketing effectively.
"I think it is so important that all of us involved in the visitor economy work together for mutual benefit and I’m delighted to have Katie’s support."
Tess’ virtual tours are conducted by Zoom and she takes participants on a visual ‘journey,’ explaining places of interest along the way.
She said: “My job is to help people see what’s around them and interpret it, providing tours that are entertaining and informative. If I were guiding a tour on a coach, I’d interpret the world outside the window. So that’s exactly what I do on a virtual tour, except the world isn’t outside the window, it’s on the viewers’ PC, laptop, phone or TV screen.
“After the tour, I invite my guests to ask questions and chat, just as people do when they step off a coach. It’s a sustainable, Covid-safe activity that is accessible to everyone.”
Tess’ first tour, Discover the Lake District Coast, is on January 20, and is completely free with the booking code Copeland100.
Subsequent tours, happening every week, will cover Whitehaven, Millom, 'the gateway to Ennerdale', a journey from St Bees into the fells, and ‘Rome’s western frontier.’
Visit https://www.trybooking.com/uk/eventlist/tesspikebluebadgetouristguide for dates, costs and how to book.
If you would like business support from Copeland Council’s Tourism Development Officer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tess also offers training for others wishing to become Blue Badge Guides at https://www.cumbriatouristguides.org/blue-badge-guide-training/.