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ICCA poll sees NewcastleGateshead move up in international meetings sector

28th May 2012

Categories: Convention Bureau News

NewcastleGateshead has rocketed in to the UK top ten and the European top 100 destinations for holding international conferences and events.

The poll, which is compiled by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), saw NewcastleGateshead enter the UK top ten for the first time, placing the destination above Liverpool, Leeds and York. The ‘twin cities’ also climbed a staggering 66 places to 93rd in Europe.

Adrian Evans, senior business tourism manager at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau said: “I’m delighted to see NewcastleGateshead make it in to the UK top ten for the first time and so significantly climb the European rankings. The ICCA poll is key to gauging how well destinations are performing in the international meetings arena and I’m really proud of the destination’s achievement. The rankings reflect how far NewcastleGateshead has come in the last few years and, in part, are testament to the Convention Bureau’s hard work at attracting large scale international association events through the continued success of our Conference Ambassador Programme.”

NewcastleGateshead was listed 10th in the UK, climbing five places since the previous poll in 2010. In the last year NewcastleGateshead has held 12 international meetings compliant with the strict ICCA criteria, as compared to five in 2010, helping NewcastleGateshead rise from 159th to 93rd in Europe.

A proposal for an International Conference and Exhibition Centre (ICEC) on Gateshead Quays is currently being developed and is supported by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, Gateshead Council and The Sage Gateshead. Adrian added “there is a lot of support from the meetings and events industry who are keen to see the development happen. The successful completion of a purpose-built exhibition centre will strengthen the destination’s ability to host international events further and should result in yet more international meetings and conferences choosing NewcastleGateshead for their next big event.”

Currently meetings and events taking place in NewcastleGateshead contribute around £277m to the local economy annually. In the last decade NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau has secured significant high-profile national and international association events, with the destination hosting the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in March. Other recent events have included the International Society for Health Care and European Society for Paediatric Research annual meetings.

These events have helped to showcase NewcastleGateshead’s credentials as one of the top destinations in the UK to hold a conference or event. Between now and September, venues across NewcastleGateshead will host 1150 international delegates and prestigious academics at four conferences contributing in the region of £1.2 million to the local economy.


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739
M. +44 (0)771 763 1109

Notes to editors:
• ICCA collect data from 86 destinations across the world and produce annual rankings based on meetings for over 50 delegates, that take place on a regular basis (eg annual) and rotate between at least 3 countries
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a destination marketing and management agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with around 165 private sector member organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region.
All of our activity aims to promote and position NewcastleGateshead as a world-class vibrant tourism destination, through targeted marketing and PR campaigns nationally and internationally and through the work of our cultural programming team and convention bureau.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative is supported by a board offering expertise from a range of sectors and professions. We also work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and businesses, who share our ambition to promote NewcastleGateshead as a world-class place in which to live, learn, work, and visit.
• NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau’s mission is to position and promote NewcastleGateshead as a leading European destination for leisure and business visitors through event bidding and high-profile, targeted destination marketing and PR activity. 
Our Convention Bureau uses local knowledge and expertise to help organise conferences, meetings or events in NewcastleGateshead and the surrounding area. It provides a free service including arranging everything from venue sourcing and booking to accommodation, transport and entertainment for delegates. With a huge choice of state-of-the-art venues NewcastleGateshead is fast becoming one of the UK’s most popular destinations whether it’s for a meeting of 10 people or a conference for thousands.
• 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.

Imagery / Photography opportunities:
• - NewcastleGateshead’s Initiative’s extensive royalty free image library

Useful links:
• - NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s media website
• - business meeting and event specific website for NewcastleGateshead

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