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Tourism industry provides career opportunities for future generations

14th November 2013

Categories: Latest News

Students from Northumberland College will work alongside some of the North East’s best-known tourism and event businesses to help deliver the region’s largest industry awards ceremony – the North East England Tourism Awards 2013.

Seven students, who are enrolled on a range of courses including Photography and Professional Cookery, will support the organisations contracted to deliver the event taking place on Thursday 21 November at St James’ Park in Newcastle. This includes catering and hospitality staff at Sodexo Prestige at Newcastle United, audio-visual providers Hi-Lights and event dressing company JC Events.
Tomorrow (Friday 15 November), three of the students, who are enrolled on the college’s Travel and Tourism courses are also shadowing businesses shortlisted for this year’s awards.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which is delivering the Awards, said: “Tourism is a growth industry in North East England and has been building steadily over the past decade.

“Recent figures show the number of overnight visitors to the North East has increased by 10% to 6.7 million since 2003. In NewcastleGateshead, where we’ve seen a number of hotels open in the last three years, overnight visitors have actually increased by 18%, which is fantastic news not just for hoteliers but for restaurants, venues and attractions. 

“Ultimately more visitors means more jobs. The number of people employed by businesses directly or indirectly supporting the visitor economy, in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham has grown by 5%, standing at 54,645 jobs in 2012.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for students at Northumberland College to experience first-hand the breadth of employment prospects open to them in this exciting sector once they’ve finished their studies. Tourism doesn’t just create roles at an entry level. It provides career paths for professionals in a range of fields from travel agents to hospitality, cultural events to conferencing.”

Nicola Roberts, 18, from Newbiggin and Jasmine Black, 19, from Sheepwash in Northumberland are working with the team at Leaplish Waterside Park, Kielder.

Leaplish has been shortlisted for Caravan Holiday Park of the Year following Kielder Forest and Water Park’s success as a winner at last year’s Awards in the Tourism Experience category, before going on to see further success by winning Gold nationally at the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2013.

David Hall, Head of Leisure, Strategy and Transformation at Northumbrian Water, said: “Kielder Water and Forest Park has so much to offer visitors. From our observatory to our increasingly popular Winter Wonderland, which launches this weekend. I’m delighted we are able to offer Nicola and Jasmine the opportunity to experience the breadth of the visitor experience we offer by shadowing at Leaplish Waterside Park.”

Scott Lough, 18, from Longhorsley will work with the team at Newcastle based Hotel Indigo, which has been shortlisted in the Large Hotel of the Year category. Hotel Indigo opened in July 2012 and this is the first time it has entered the North East England Tourism Awards.

Northumberland College offers a range of further and higher education courses in Travel and Tourism, with an onsite ‘cabin room’ providing a realistic learning environment for cabin crew trainees. The college also offers courses up to an HNC level 4 in Travel and Tourism Management, providing work placement opportunities at local tourism businesses and equipping students with the skills and sector knowledge to embark on a successful career.

Stuart Cutforth, Principal and Chief Executive of Northumberland College, said: “As a college that is based in the largest unitary area in England with a spectacular landscape and rich history, we view the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors as key for economic prosperity and we provide quality training and facilities to meet this demand. I’m delighted that NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Kielder Water and Forest Park, and Hotel Indigo have been able to provide such important experience for our students. I am confident it will help them not only in their studies, but in their future career paths”

NewcastleGateshead Initiative has worked alongside other Northern Tourism Alliance members and wider partners to deliver the awards, including Visit County Durham, Northumberland Tourism, Hadrian’s Wall Trust, Northumberland County Council, Sunderland City Council, North Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Council.

Winners at the event will also have the chance to compete on a national stage against winners from England’s other regions at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in 2014.

The North East England Tourism Awards have taken place since 2003 and are a great tool for inspiring businesses to improve and grow.


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739
M. +44 (0)7717 631 109

Notes to editors:
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a destination management and marketing agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with around 170 private sector partner organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region
• 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 inspire people to visit and to live, learn, work and invest in NewcastleGateshead.
o Our marketing & communications team works to promote and position NewcastleGateshead as a vibrant tourism destination, through targeted campaigns nationally and internationally. Our visitor information team helps ensure visitors have the best possible experience when they’re here, providing information and support.
o Our cultural programming team work with partners across the destination to bring together NewcastleGateshead’s cultural offer and deliver some of our most popular festival & events, including EAT! NewcastleGateshead, Juice Festival and the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival.
o 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, venue sourcing and accommodation booking, to arranging transport and entertainment for delegates
o Our inward investment team helps businesses locate, expand and flourish in NewcastleGateshead, providing a range of services to make it easy to realise their ambitions for growth
• 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
• - destination website for NewcastleGateshead

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