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Dumfries and Galloway "often overlooked"

“This year the whole of Scotland will be in the global spotlight thanks to major events and the Homecoming 2014 initiative. Our organisation knows Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire well but they are sadly often overlooked.

"The region offers availability of a wide range of high quality, good value accommodation, food and drink in an exceptionally busy tourism year.”

– Gary Mclean Quin, Honorary President of the Scottish Hotel Awards

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Dumfries and Galloway named 'Destination of the Year'

The stunning Solway Coast Credit: ITV News Border

Dumfries and Galloway has been named as 'Destination of the Year' at the Scottish Hotel Awards.

The region was chosen for its strong hotel offering, warm hospitality and stunning landscapes.

Judges were impressed by the area's natural scenic beauty, fishing communities and charming country house hotels.

People are now being encouraged to 'turn west' when they enter Scotland to discover the local charms on offers.

Keswick Mountain Festival gets National Tourism Award

Organisers are considering introducing a summer event Credit: ITV Border

Kendal's Mountain Festival has been given a National Tourism Award. It was one of five Cumbrian winners chosen by VisitEngland.

The festival runs in November and includes films, art and adventure sports. It claims to be the largest of its type in the world and is considering introducing a summer event.

Askham Hall awarded as a 'superior quality' attraction

The Penrith attraction is the first in Cumbria to win the award Credit: ITV Border

Askham Hall in Penrith has become the first Cumbrian tourist attraction to be given a new 'superior quality' award.

The eight-hundred-year old property recently opened its doors as a hotel and restaurant.

The Tourism Quality Cumbria scheme was developed seven years ago in a bid to improve standards of visitor accommodation.

Those given the award are considered to be 'the best of the best'.

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Weather boosts Lake District tourism

Tourist businesses say they're enjoying one of the best Easter weekends they've had for many years.

The good weather has brought visitors in large numbers to the Lake District and other attractions in the region.

Last year was very cold whereas this year it's nice and sunny. Much different to last year. Passenger figures are way up on last year. Our larger vessels have had 8 trips a day with around 400 people on each. It's been the busiest weekend we've known for a long time here. "

– John Woodburn, Windermere Lake Cruises

New floating jetty for Windermere's eastern shore

Windermere's new jetty Credit: ITV Border

The new jetty is on the eastern side of Windermere and it's hoped its addition will increase tourism in that area.

Private boats can drop off at it for free. Windermere Lake Cruises will operate a bike boat from Brockhole Visitor Centre from May with a request stop on its other services.

Windermere's new floating jetty

Windermere has a new floating jetty. It has been towed up the length of the lake to its new home at Bark Barn on the eastern shore.

"To start with I don't think the numbers will be enormous so it won't be a commercial proposition but we hope that this is a long-term investment that in due course will benefit tourism for the South Lakeland area."

– Emma Moody, Go Lakes Travel

It has been paid for by the Go Lakes Travel in the hope it will bring more tourists to the quieter side of the lake.

Private boats can drop off at it for free. Windermere Lake Cruises will operate a bike boat from Brockhole Visitor Centre from May with a request stop on its other services.

Tourism funding for West Cumbria cut

Funding to support tourism in West Cumbria has been cut, and there's a warning the area may suffer as result.

In the past, tourism has benefitted from nearly half a million pounds in funding from Britain's Energy Coast.

That grant is now being stopped, though the organisation insists it will continue to invest in West Cumbria. Paul Crone has the story.

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