Morecambe Bay has potential to attract 'nature tourists' - new report (From Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen)
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Morecambe Bay has potential to attract 'nature tourists' - new report
A NEW report shows Morecambe Bay has the potential to become a leading destination for nature tourism.
Nine out of ten people who took part in an extensive visitor survey said they would be interested in visiting places where they can see or experience wildlife.
But the same survey carried on behalf of the Morecambe Bay Nature Improvement Area shows only 55 per cent of people had actually visited or planned to visit a nature attraction.
Jenny Wain, of the RSPB, who compiled the report, said: “Most people who visit say the area’s beautiful scenery is its main attraction. They are aware that the area is a great place for nature and would like to experience it, but clearly, they need more inspiration to see wildlife such as red deer and otters.”
The results of the survey are helping to shape the activities of The Morecambe Bay Nature Tourism Business Network, a fledgling group of 60 businesses, including accommodation and activity providers and nature and cultural attractions.
Supported by the Bay Tourism Association, the RSPB and Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the aim of the network is to boost the local tourism economy by unlocking the potential of nature and wildlife.
The network was officially launched last week at an event at the National Trust’s Sizergh estate, near Kendal.
Member Vic Brown, who runs the Tythebarn House bed and breakfast in Holme with his wife Diana, said: ”Many of the people who stay at my B&B are stopping off on their way up to Scotland and have no idea of the natural attractions Morecambe Bay has to offer.
“I believe the Bay has a lot more potential to develop as a visitor destination and the variety of wildlife is one of its main selling points.”
The first task of the network is to develop a series of guides to enable visitors to get up close and personal with nature.
Ms Wain added: “Our plan is to give visitors options to see wildlife, which will provide the foundation for a thriving nature economy.
“By inspiring people to visit places rich in nature around Morecambe Bay, we hope that they will make longer trips and, therefore, spend more money on activities, accom-modation, pubs, cafes and restaurants.”
* For more information about the Morecambe Bay Nature Tourism Business Network contact Suzi Bunting, Chair of Bay Tourism Association on 01524 736926.
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