Tourism growth for the north east

Northumberlandia Picture by Paul Carr
Northumberlandia Picture by Paul Carr

The North East has secured significant tourism growth according to new figures.

Latest results from a three-year project to grow tourism across England show significant economic impact for the North East, generating £109m worth of additional tourism spend in the region and supporting 2,043 jobs over a three year period – far exceeding initial targets set.

Delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism and Visit County Durham, a series of domestic marketing campaigns between 2012 and 2015 aimed to inspire UK residents to take more holidays in North East England.

Part of the VisitEngland-led Growing Tourism Locally project, funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), activity included advertising in national and regional print publications, broadcast media, digital media and outdoor advertising - highlighting the very best of the region’s visitor offer.

RGF funding was matched with private sector funding and NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism and Visit County Durham each worked with key partners and tourism organisations to deliver maximum return on investment.

Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have confirmation of the success of our promotion.

“This campaign came at a time when Northumberland’s tourism industry was grappling with recession and really needed a helping hand.

“It’s wonderful to see how much new tourism spend we managed to generate and how many additional people have benefited from jobs in tourism as a result.

“We are still reaping the rewards with a 4.6 per cent increase in visitors to Northumberland during 2014 and growth expected to continue in future.”

Total annual visitor figures for the North East show that 64 million visits generated a total of £3.9bn expenditure.