NewcastleGateshead Initiative calls on businesses to support one of the region’s largest sectors

Destination organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) is calling on businesses and the public to support the tourism industry this English Tourism Week.

Led by industry body, VisitEngland, English Tourism Week is an opportunity to celebrate the tourism sector as well as to engage with key decision makers, bringing their attention to the valuable contribution it makes to the regional economy.

Pre-covid the North East visitor economy contributed £5.2bn to GDP (2019), but still receives the lowest number of visitors and the lowest amount of visitor spend of any region in England.

This leaves significant opportunity for growth in the sector. Last year it was recognised by government when the North East was selected to become the first region to pilot a new tourism scheme.

As lead tourism body, NGI will work with Visit Northumberland, Visit County Durham and all seven local authorities to develop the region as one must-visit destination, attracting more visitors, creating new experiences, targeting new markets and creating jobs and opportunity.

In the last 20 years the North East visitor economy has doubled in size and NGI now has ambitions to do the same in just 10 years which could support the provision of more than 25,000 jobs.

Ian Thomas, destination director, NGI, said: “The potential in the North East’s visitor economy is incredible and as the region’s fourth largest employer, it’s a valuable part of who we are. We have a reputation for one of the warmest visitor welcomes and this is down to our passionate and resilient workforce.

“English Tourism Week is a moment to celebrate our colleagues in the sector and to ensure government and key decision makers recognise it as well. I encourage everyone to go out and enjoy what the region has to offer not just between 17-16 March, but year-round.”

Martijn Gilbert, managing director, Lumo Trains, said: “We’re exceptionally proud to be based here in Newcastle and always delight in celebrating all our great city and its people have to offer.

“Our all-electric train service brings many thousands of visitors to the region, and English Tourism Week is a brilliant opportunity to further promote visiting Newcastle and the surrounding area to even more people. Tourism is an important part of our local economy, especially given the sizeable leisure share of the East Coast Mainline rail market.”

Liz Bromley, chief executive, NCG, said: “As well as the North East being the absolute best place to visit, it has unparalleled education and skills development opportunities for the people who choose to live here.

“NCG specialises in delivering the skills needed to support our tourism industry, from the most basic level to Masters, and we are delighted that our Newcastle College offer supports and promotes our brilliant tourist economy. Visit, study, work, live – we have it all in the North East!”

Credit: Bdaily

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