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New figures see North East economy ‘shine’

22nd June 2011

Categories: Latest News

Music tourists significantly boosted NewcastleGateshead’s economy last month following a weekend that saw some of the world’s biggest musicians rock the North East.
Following Take That’s concerts at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and the Evolution Weekender on NewcastleGateshead Quayside, new figures show that tourists to the region boosted the average room rate in hotels, or revenue per available room (Revpar), by 42% in NewcastleGateshead.
Hotel room occupancy for the weekend of 27-28 May saw figures rise to 98% in comparison to last year’s 91%, but significantly, Revpar in NewcastleGateshead increased by just over £29 in comparison to the same weekend in 2010, averaging £98.21.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “It is great to see the local economy benefit from the recent bank holiday events. Each year NewcastleGateshead and other destinations in North East England host an array of exciting events that attract visitors from across the UK and other parts of the world.
“These figures demonstrate the impact of large-scale events on the local economy. The quality of the music acts performing across the bank holiday had a definite impact on demand for hotel rooms in the region and helped improve the overall Revpar in NewcastleGateshead.”
Thousands of music enthusiasts descended on the destination to see Take That’s opening shows and legendary rockers Iggy & The Stooges headline the Evolution Weekender. 
Martin Robinson, general manager at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, said: “There was a real buzz in the destination during the May Bank holiday events and the hotel experienced fantastic business as a result. Our next mission is to prepare for next year’s London 2012 Olympic Games, which we hope will see an even larger number of tourists visit the area. Newcastle is less than 3 hours from London by train so it’s reasonable to expect that visitors from outside of the UK will want the convenient access into central London without the capital’s price tag, and it’s here that North East business can benefit.”
As well as Olympic football there will be a host of events and festivals, linked to the Games in NewcastleGateshead, including the Cultural Olympiad and North East leg of the Olympic Torch Relay.
Sarah added: “NewcastleGateshead has a lot to look forward to with football coming to St James’ Park as one of the very first events during the London 2012 Olympic Games, it is important that businesses seize the opportunity to benefit from the additional profile and visitors during next year.
“The remainder of 2011 also looks set to attract many more thousands of visitors with Premier League football at Newcastle United, the inaugural NewcastleGateshead Bridges Festival, iconic BUPA Great North Run and Turner Prize at BALTIC.”

Media Contact
Shelley Staines, Media & PR Manager, NewcastleGateshead Initiative
T. 0191 440 5739 E.
Notes to Editors
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.
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.
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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