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News Article Search

Millions of Brits only get ‘cultural’ on holiday

27th June 2014

Categories: Latest News

A new study reveals cultural tourism is strong with half the nation cramming more cultural activity into a city break weekend away than they do when at home.

Almost half of those surveyed (47%) said they take part in ‘culture cramming’ when on a city-break, relishing high-intensity visits to local galleries, museums, festivals and events. In fact, the average city-breaker crammed more than a third (34%) of their entire annual ‘cultural intake’ into their last weekend away.

Speaking about the findings, Carol Bell, Head of Culture and Major events at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: “This survey provides some fantastic insight for cultural venues and attractions. Whilst local audiences will always be core to the ongoing success of museums, galleries, festivals and events – cultural tourists are an audience of growing potential. It’s important that destinations not only recognise this, but work in partnership with venues to provide immersive quality experiences for visitors that inspire them to tell their friends and visit again.”

The trend is particularly popular with younger travellers, with 41% of 18-24 year olds saying culture is a priority for them when visiting a new city and almost half (45%) of 25-34 year olds agreeing with this also, compared to a third of over 55’s.

Londoners came out top among the UK’s most avid cultural tourists, with 53.6% saying they ‘culture cram’ closely followed by those from the North East (53%), East Anglia (50.9%), Northern Ireland and Yorkshire (both 50%).

The study by NewcastleGateshead, a destination with a growing reputation for its cultural assets, saw two thirds of people say the mark of a great city is that they want to return to it, while more than 40% say if they feel they could live there they know it’s a winner.

Carol added: “Key festivals and events in NewcastleGateshead also give visitors a variety of compelling reasons to visit the destination, with venues working together to deliver innovative festival programmes including, one of the biggest museums at night events – The Late Shows (May); EAT! Out – the innovative festival of adventures in food (August); Great North Run Cultural Programme and the Millionth Finisher (September); Juice – NewcastleGateshead’s Festival for Children & Young People (October); and Winter Festival Ouseburn Open Studios (November & December).”
Percentage of population who ‘culture cram’ by area:
• London – 53.6%
• North East – 53%
• East Anglia – 50.9%
• Northern Ireland – 50%
• Yorkshire – 50%
• South East – 47.5%
• North West – 46.5%
• Scotland – 45.5%
• Midlands – 43.2%
• Wales – 36.6%
• South West – 35.7% 

Top places to ‘culture cram’ in NewcastleGateshead:
Tyneside Cinema is a Grade II listed building and the last surviving news-reel theatre still operating as a cinema full-time in the UK. This summer, work is under way as it expands with a new cafe bar, cutting-edge video art gallery and cinema screen.

The acclaimed international music centre, Sage Gateshead, celebrates its 10th birthday in 2014. Formal celebrations are yet to be announced, but this summer includes a packed programme including the popular SummerTyne Americana Festival in July.

Situated to the east of the city, the Ouseburn Valley, heralded by the New York Times as one of most vibrant areas in NewcastleGateshead, has transformed into a thriving cultural quarter with many attractions finding their home there, including – The Biscuit Factory, Northern Print, and Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Books.

With five theatres in the compact heart of NewcastleGateshead there’s a variety of options to take in a show, whether a showcase of new writing at Northern Stage and Live Theatre, or an international hit at the spectacular Grade I listed Theatre Royal.

Visitors really are spoilt for choice with free cultural activity on offer in abundance. From one the world’s most recognisable pieces of public art at the Angel of the North, to some of the UK’s best museums and galleries including, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Laing Art Gallery and Great North Museum.

For more information on things to see, do and visit across NewcastleGateshead go to


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

Notes to editors:

• The research was carried out by Opinion Matters between: 12/06/2014 and 16/06/2014. Sample: 1,648 UK adults. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

• 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 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

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