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Tourism continues to grow in NewcastleGateshead

15th August 2012

Categories: Latest News

NewcastleGateshead’s tourism industry continues to grow, despite difficult economic conditions, with 5% more overnight visitors coming to the destination last year.

Latest tourism figures released by destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, show there were 1.7 million overnight visitors in NewcastleGateshead in 2011, an increase of 5% on 2010. They spent 4.1 million nights in the “twin cities”, also an increase of 5%. Overnight visitor spend saw a rise of 2% to £360m.

Using the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Model (STEAM), the figures show employment in the area’s tourism industry has increased by 2%, with the number of employees across the sector now reaching 18,321.

Last year saw four new hotels open in NewcastleGateshead, Jurys Inn NewcastleGateshead Quays, Sleeperz, Sandman Signature and Hilton Double Tree Hotel. This has had a positive impact on employment within the accommodation sector, with figures showing a growth of 12% last year, to 1,418 employees.

A further two hotels, Hotel Indigo and Ramada Encore, opened in early 2012, creating an extra 1,800 rooms in the destination.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the agency tasked with promoting the area to visitors, said: “These figures demonstrate the positive impact of all the hard work from a range of stakeholders working in the tourism sector right across the area.

“From leisure visitors, to business tourists attending conferences; we have proved time and time again we have the diversity and quality to cater for a range of markets. The associated job growth is also great news for the area and the quality of our front of house staff plays a major factor in people’s experience and their desire to return again.

“Tourism is hugely important to the area and it is fantastic to see that despite an increasingly difficult economic environment, and often poor weather conditions, the sector continues to grow.”

Jurys Inn on NewcastleGateshead Quays was the second Jury’s to open in the area and has had a hugely positive year since opening.

General manager, David Malanaphy, said: “The area is definitely on the rise in terms of visitors spending the night and we were keen to extend our brand presence to tap into that growing market. We’ve exceeded all expectations in our first year in terms of capacity. With the range of festivals and events year round and the exciting recent Olympic football, it’s a great place to visit and to stay overnight.”

 NewcastleGateshead: A snapshot

• 18,321 employed in the tourism industry in NewcastleGateshead (up by 2%)

• 1.7 million overnight visitors (up by 5%)

• Overnight visitors spent 4.1 million nights in NewcastleGateshead (up by 5%)

• Overnight visitor spend £360m (up by 2%)

• Employment in the accommodation sector is up by 12% to 1,418 employees

ENDS

For further information or interview opportunities please contact
Hayley Quarmby, Media and PR Manager, hayley.quarmby@ngi.org.uk 0191 440 5749


Notes to Editors

• STEAM is a tourism economic impact model operated by Global Tourism Solutions (UK) ltd, providing monthly and annual estimates on the value, volume and impact of tourism in the area
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is the destination management and marketing agency for NewcastleGateshead. Its mission is to position and promote NewcastleGateshead as a leading European destination for leisure and business visitors.
• Created in 2000 by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead 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 to live, learn, work, visit and invest.

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