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NewcastleGateshead’s top of the class for international student visit

17th November 2010

Categories: Latest News

International students from more than 20 different countries around the world have arrived in the city this week to study how NewcastleGateshead has promoted itself nationally and internationally as a cultural visitor destination.

The 105 students from Middlesex University are studying for a Marketing Management Masters Degree, having completed first degrees in their countries of origin. Hailing from as far afield as Thailand, Holland, India and the USA, the students and their lecturers will visit organisations and venues across the ‘twin cities’ to see for themselves how NewcastleGateshead has rebranded and repositioned itself on a world stage, delivering visitors, profile and economic benefit to the area.

The educational residential is organised by the university and a specialist company called Destination Learning, which selected NewcastleGateshead as a best practice case study.

Paul Mullins, director at Liverpool-based Destination Learning, said: “I work with universities to help them develop the curriculum in more creative ways. This visit is designed to take the students out of London to experience another UK city, which is successfully marketing itself as a dynamic and cultural place to visit; NewcastleGateshead is one of the very best examples in the UK.

“Not only does the trip offer great opportunities for the students to learn in a very practical way but it also delivers fantastic benefits for NewcastleGateshead, as the students will inevitably leave as international ambassadors for the area and the work that is being done there.”

Speakers from destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Newcastle United, Centre for Life and Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives will present to the students along with restaurant entrepreneur Jalf Ali, director of Spice Cube in The Gate and Ammar Mirza, founder of Asian Business Connexions. During their week-long stay the students will also visit MetroCentre, The Sage Gateshead and Great North Museum as well as other parts of the region, including Beamish and Durham.

Sarah Stewart, interim chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We are delighted to welcome the students here to learn about NewcastleGateshead and how sustained and focussed marketing activity has dramatically transformed outdated perceptions of a former industrial city, putting us in the spotlight as a leading cultural city break.

“Their visit will deliver significant economic benefits as well as allowing us to engage with and inspire the next generation of business men and women who will help to take the ‘NewcastleGateshead story’ around the world.”

The residential aims to provide the students with a practical understanding of marketing, exposing them to current thinking and strategies developed and implemented by a wide range of businesses and organisations.

Jalf Ali, director of Newcastle’s Spice Cube restaurant, commented: “I have worked in London, Leicester and across the country but chose NewcastleGateshead as the place to base my businesses, because the area offers plenty of opportunity to innovate and has a thriving social scene which is critical to the hospitality and leisure market. Hopefully the students will see the range of achievements that the region has made in a relatively short time and be inspired to make similar things happen in the areas that they are from.”

Destination Learning is an educationally led company, which delivers bespoke added value services for universities and educational institutions based in the UK and overseas.  It supports lecturers deliver their curriculum content across subject areas including Tourism, Marketing, Business and Management in a creative and dynamic way as well as assisting universities in the UK with city region based welcome and induction programmes for its international students.


For further information: Kathie Wilcox, Senior Media & PR Manager, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, T. +44 (0)191 440 5742, E.,

Image caption: A group of foreign students tour NewcastleGateshead and visit the Castle Keep with tutor Dr. Mark McPherson (left) from Middlesex University and students Daniela Ugro from Germany , Asghar Aly from Pakistan, and Lin Chin-Wen from Taiwan who were given a tour by Tony Ball the Keep administrator.  Credit: North News and Pictures

Notes to editors

·  Newcastle Gateshead Initiative is a destination marketing agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with 165 private sector member organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region.  Everything NewcastleGateshead Initiative does aims to promote NewcastleGateshead as a world-class destination, through targeted marketing and PR campaigns regionally, nationally and internationally and through the work of its highly successful cultural programming team and convention bureau. We also work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders, businesses and members who all share our ambition to promote NewcastleGateshead as a world-class place in which to live, learn, work, and visit.

·  It is estimated that visitors to NewcastleGateshead from around the UK and overseas contribute £1.23bn to the local economy.

·  News releases and copyright-free, hi-res images of NewcastleGateshead are available at


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