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13th December 2010

Categories: Latest News

National and international tourists can now access a range of interactive resources and tools when planning their visit to North East England’s most popular visitor destination thanks to a new state-of-the-art website.

NewcastleGateshead is the cultural heart of the North East, home to world-class events and attractions, a bustling night-life, cosmopolitan cityscape, and sumptuous restaurants. For those planning a visit, it’s never been easier; as well as dynamic searchable information about everything on offer in the destination, now also includes an interactive itinerary builder and is fully integrated with social media travel site, TripAdvisor.

Sarah Stewart, Interim Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative said; “NewcastleGateshead is a great place to enjoy time with friends and family over the festive period. There’s so much to do, from ice skating at the Life Science Centre, to pantomime at one of the city’s four theatres. Beyond Christmas, there’s a year-round programme of festival’s and events, world-class attractions and one of the most iconic cityscapes the country has to offer.   

“The new website gives a flavour of all of the wonderful things the destination has to offer and has a range of tools to plan great days out and overnight stays. It is the definitive source of information for anyone visiting, living, studying or working in the area.”

The new TripAdvisor function has been developed by e-tourism specialists New Mind, and is being spear-headed by NewcastleGateshead Initiative.

With 40 million users, and featuring more than 40 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the world, TripAdvisor has fast become an invaluable source for travellers across the world. The destination’s hotels which have ratings will have the iconic 'owl' logo displayed within search results and a rating of 1-5 based on an average from all reviews.  While hotel information pages include access to individual guest reviews and ratings, with an online booking facility to make the process easy from start to finish.

Split into four easy tab sections, the website provides information for a host of users, from leisure visitors and residents to meetings organisers, media to local businesses and partners.

Once in NewcastleGateshead, the website is complemented with a newly designed Pocket Guide available from Tourist Information Centres and venues across the city. As well as providing a comprehensive guide to what to see and do in NewcastleGateshead, local residents and famous faces from across the North East have come forward to share their favourite experiences across NewcastleGateshead. 

Amongst the personalities bringing the renowned Geordie welcome direct to visitors is international music sensation Sting.

The musical legend originally hails from nearby Wallsend and shares his love of one of the destinations award-winning landmark venues, he says;  “For me, performing in front of my home audience is always a special experience and standing on stage in a magnificent venue like The Sage Gateshead makes me enormously proud of my heritage.”   

The guide includes features on everything from shopping to nightlife, art and culture to family fun with sound bites and recommendations from, amongst others, the Hairy Bikers’ Si King and local fashion guru, Kate Walton who runs one of Vogue magazine’s Britain’s Best Boutiques, Have to Love.

Sarah added; “The North East welcome is famous world-wide and what better way to give visitors to NewcastleGateshead a taste of that welcome than through the pages of the Pocket Guide and on our brand new website.”
To explore NewcastleGateshead further and to plan your next trip visit


For further information contact:
Shelley Staines, Media & PR Manager – Destination & Business, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, T. +44 (0)191 440 5739 M. +44 (0)7717 631 109 E., to Editors


• The four key sections of the site include:
o The new Visitor website provides extensive information on NewcastleGateshead and the broader Tyne and Wear region, concentrating on things to do and has festivals & events as its key focus.

o The Conference website aims to drive new enquiries to NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau. The new website now integrates seamlessly with the Convention Bureau’s enquiry database (Chaser), meaning that when new enquiries are received the team will save valuable time and resource, improving response times and providing an even better service to members and clients.

o The Media website now provides a first-class resource for journalists. It delivers relevant information, provides facts and statistics, ideas, tips, royalty free images, contacts and general advice, as well as displaying useful RSS feeds and the latest news releases from NewcastleGateshead Initiative.

o The Corporate website showcases NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Tourism Tyne & Wear, providing a useful business resource for local organisations. It details NewcastleGateshead Initiative membership and its benefits, as well as housing an exclusive ‘Member Zone’ where members can find the latest news and updates from NewcastleGateshead Initiative, but also join in discussions and forums about current and relevant topics.

• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is the destination marketing agency for NewcastleGateshead. Its mission is to position and promote NewcastleGateshead as a leading destination for leisure and business visitors through cultural programming, event bidding and high-profile, targeted destination marketing and PR activity.  Created in 2000 by Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council as a publicly and privately funded business, NewcastleGateshead Initiative has developed a strong brand for the area - promoting it nationally and internationally as a place at the forefront of innovative culture-led regeneration and a world-class place to live, learn, work and visit.

• Tourism Tyne & 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.

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

• Press releases and copyright-free, hi-res images of NewcastleGateshead are available at


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