A final decision on whether to press ahead with plans to seek World Heritage Status for the Lake District will not now be taken until at least January.
The area has been trying for World Heritage status since 1985
A "make your mind up" event attended by interested parties took place at Wray Castle, near Windermere, on Friday.
While delegates agreed to further work being done on a possible bid, a vote on the project was delayed until 2006.
The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) has been trying since 1985 to win United Nations approval.
The LDNPA believes it will cost at least £350,000 to fund an application, which must be made by the government by the end of 2008.
However, some organisations, including Cumbria County Council, have expressed concerns at the plan, questioning the benefits to the county.
The LDNPA says World Heritage Status could bring increased international recognition for the Lake District, attract more tourism and help protect traditional farming.
But it also acknowledged some concerns that it is likely to mean unwelcome planning constraints, increased bureaucracy and a negative effect on tourism in neighbouring areas.
Friday's meeting was attended by civic, business and tourism leaders.
Independent chairman, Lord Clark of Windermere, said: "There is naturally a long way to go towards reaching our goal of achieving World Heritage Status, but we have made a start today.
"Judging by the commitment shown by most of the delegates, I'm confident that we now go from strength to strength and achieve the goal that this wonderful landscape so richly deserves."