FEWER people visited the Lake District in 2022 compared with before the pandemic, a new report reveals.

The Lake District National Park Authority has published its ‘State of the Park 2023’ report which says tourism has been ‘significantly affected’ since the report’s last publication in 2018.

According to the report, 18.14 million people visited the Lake District in 2022, a drop of 1.75 million from the 19.89 million who visited in 2019.

A spokesperson for the Lake District National Park said: “We have a responsibility to produce a State of the Park Report. This is one of the critical documents in helping to understand if we are achieving the Vision and fulfilling our statutory purposes.

“The latest State of the Park Report has just been produced. It details that tourism and outdoor activities have been significantly affected since the last State of the Park Report in 2018, primarily as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic but a number of positives have also emerged.”

The report shows a larger proportion of young people and those from ethnic minority backgrounds are visiting the national park.

The spokesperson added: “As restrictions lifted a new audience of visitors discovered the Lake District, and the latest data shows they continue to enjoy the Lake District and this Special Quality.

“Whilst visitor numbers haven’t quite reached the numbers in 2019, the proportion of visitors aged 16-34 has increased by six per cent, and visitors from minority ethnic communities increased to 22 per cent in the Lake District and 16 per cent across Cumbria representing a 14 per cent increase.

“This demonstrates a visitor profile that better reflects today’s national population and that the Lake District is a place for everyone.”