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Tours with a twist show visitors a big welcome

26th October 2010

Categories: Latest News

Two of the North East’s pop cultural icons will be giving guided tours with a twist, as they show visitors to Tyne and Wear a warm welcome.

Ray Laidlaw, best known for drumming in Geordie folk band Lindisfarne, and Chris Phipps, former producer on the 1980’s cult pop music programme, The Tube, have teamed up with East Coast Tours to create Tyne Idols – a tourism visitor experience showcasing  a different side to the region’s heritage and history, focusing on its musical exports.

This week they teamed up with Tourism Tyne and Wear to take part, alongside colleagues from East Coast Tours, in a Welcome to Tyne and Wear workshop. 

Paul Szomoru, Business Relationship Manager for Tourism Tyne and Wear said; “The training is aimed at developing a tourism workforce that collaborate and are well equipped to advise visitors on the best places to stay, play and relax no matter what their budget or interests. It’s exciting that two of the region’s such high profile personalities have signed up to the programme and we’re thrilled to welcome them to take part alongside their East Coast Tours’ colleagues.”

Following the successful summer season of guided music, TV and film heritage tours of Tyneside, Tyne Idols will once again be pulling the grand old Routemaster out of hibernation for some winter tours.  

Ray Laidlaw said; “Tyne Idols is a great addition to the many fantastic things that visitors to the North East can experience. We’re keen to make sure that every Tyne Idols tour is memorable, and Welcome to Tyne and Wear is a great way of ensuring that we, as tour guides, are equipped with the knowledge and skills to ensure that the visitor experience is second to none.” 

The Tyne Idols workshop comes just days after Tourism Tyne and Wear welcomed the Malta Tourism Authority for a workshop as part of a visit organised by VisitEngland, the national tourism organisation tasked with developing the visitor economy in England. 

Andre Zammit and Christine Vella arrived in NewcastleGateshead on Thursday (21 October) to explore some of the city’s iconic sites, and meet the dedicated teams that work with visitors across the destination. 

On NewcastleGateshead Andre Zammit, said; “We’ve met genuinely friendly people here in NewcastleGateshead and discovered a beautiful city with personality. 

“Welcome to Tyne and Wear is a great idea and we can really see the benefit of organisations who meet visitors to the destination to come together in delivering a quality visitor experience for all. We’ll certainly be taking what we’ve learned today back to Malta with us.”  

Welcome to Tyne and Wear is a fully funded destination awareness and customer service training programme for all front-line tourism and hospitality employees in Tyne and Wear. Suitable for anyone who comes into contact with visitors, the training comprises a three hour workshop with DVD and participants guide, and a two hour walking tour of key destinations within the area with a Blue Badge Guide.

The training includes sessions on who visits the area and where from, the size and significance of tourism to the region, and the history and heritage of the destination charting 2000 years since the Roman period, through the industrial revolution, right up to the modern day. For more information on the Welcome to Tyne and Wear programme email paul.szomoru@tourismtyneandwear.com 

Ends

Media Contact: Shelley Staines, Media and PR Manager, Tourism Tyne and Wear
shelley.staines@tourismtyneandwear.com 0191 440 5739/07717 631 109

For further information about Tyne Idols visit www.tyenidols.com

Notes to Editors
• Tourism Tyne and Wear is the Area Tourism Partnership for Tyne and Wear.
• The partnership is made up of key stakeholders involved in delivering, developing and promoting the visitor experience in Tyne & Wear and is supported by Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Sunderland city Council, South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council, and NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
• Tourism Tyne and Wear is a key partner in the Tourism Network North East. Along with the ATPs in Durham, Northumberland and Tees Valley and the tourism team based within One North East.
• Tourism is worth £1.97billion to the economy in Tyne and Wear in 2008
• In 2008 Tyne and Wear attracted 39.1 million visitors from the UK and overseas
•  Tourism in Tyne and Wear supports more than 30,000 jobs
 

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