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Bank Holiday Events See Hotel Bookings Boom

12th May 2011

Categories: Latest News

As May Bank holiday approaches and two of the year’s biggest events come to NewcastleGateshead and Sunderland, hoteliers are looking ahead to a business boost as forward bookings across the destination rocket. 

Pop sensation Take That kick off their latest tour with a return performances at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light (27-31 May), whilst over the same period Evolution Weekender takes place on NewcastleGateshead Quayside (28-29 May).

Hotel forward bookings for the weekend of 27-28 May are almost full to capacity in both NewcastleGateshead and further afield in Tyne and Wear, at a staggering 89%. 

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Each year NewcastleGateshead and other destinations in the North East host an array of exciting events that attract visitors from across the UK, as well as other parts of the world, which have a significant economic benefit for local businesses.

“Those visitors who come to the destination specifically for an event, particularly those who stay overnight, spend far more on shopping, leisure and dining at an average £122, versus typical day visitors who spend an average £31, and so contribute significant sums to the local economy”. 

Evolution has grown into one of the UK’s largest urban music festivals, bringing visitors to NewcastleGateshead’s Quayside since 2003. The event attracts some of the biggest names in music and this bank holiday welcomes legendary rockers Iggy & The Stooges, as well as fresh faces making waves in the music scene, including Katy B and Tinie Tempah.

Jim Mawdsley, director of the Evolution Weekender, said: “By bringing some of the biggest names in music to NewcastleGateshead, the appeal of Evolution as one of the summer’s must visit festivals has continued to grow and as a result, since 2009 the event has taken place over two days. The hotel economy is one of the first areas of local business to benefit from Evolution Weekender as revellers book their accommodation in advance of the event taking place.”

Gary Hutchinson, SAFC Head of Venue & Events, said; “Concerts have added another dimension to what we offer, not only at the Stadium of Light, but across the city as a whole. The success of the first concerts, helped put Sunderland well and truly on the map as a major venue and a tourism destination. This year, the Take That events promise to be bigger and better, it’s no surprise that hotel occupancy for the time they’re here is so strong.”

Other events staged at the Stadium of Light featured Oasis in 2009 and Pink in 2010. Collectively boosting the local economy significantly, 2011 looks to mirror this success with Kings of Leon also coming to the city in June with an estimated economic impact for 2011 totalling £18m. 

Sarah Stewart added: “We’d urge all venues, attractions, bars and restaurants to take advantage of the increase in visitors to NewcastleGateshead and Sunderland during this time by offering special offers, themed promotions and, above all a fantastic welcome so those visitors who are new to the destination come back again and again.”  


Media Contact
Shelley Staines, Media and PR Manager, NewcastleGateshead Initiative
T. 0191 440 5739 E.
Get up to date information on NewcastleGateshead, follow @altweet_pet via Twitter

Notes to Editors
• On average, day visitors travelling to events spend 54% more than a regular day visitor on shopping, eating and drinking at an estimated £53.84, while visitors who stay overnight spend on average 16% more equating to £122.84 per person per day. Typical day visitors spend £31.10. 
• Hotel occupancy figures come from the Lynn Jones survey using a total sample of 20 properties across Tyne and Wear. NewcastleGateshead properties show levels of 84% on 27th May and 93% on 28th May. Properties outside of NewcastleGateshead show occupancy levels of 81% on 27th May and 97% on 28th May. Figures correct as of April 2011.
• The 2011 NewcastleGateshead Discover Pass is THE visitor discounting pass for NewcastleGateshead with over 120 offers at attractions, venues, pubs, restaurants and hotels. It is available direct from, which has information on the latest deals and top places to visit in NewcastleGateshead, or from Tourist Information Centres and costs just £10. Catch-up on the latest Discover Pass news by following @DiscoverPass on Twitter.
• United by seven bridges across a spectacular riverscape, Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank) form a single, diverse and extremely vibrant visitor destination. World-class culture, vibrant nightlife, award-winning dining, inspiring heritage, fantastic shopping and acclaimed architecture are combined here like nowhere else, by the famous Geordie spirit which is symbolised by Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North as it welcomes travellers to the area.
• 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.
• 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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