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Northern Powerhouse tourism success showcased in Westminster

11th February 2016

Categories: Latest News

This week (Tuesday 9 February) politicians and business people from across the North attended a House of Commons reception celebrating the ongoing success of the £20m Northern Tourism Growth Fund (NTGF). The event was hosted by VisitEngland Chair Lady Cobham CBE, on behalf of 38 Northern England destinations and their business partners.

Invited guests heard from Minister for Tourism the Rt Hon. David Evennett MP, Paul Callaghan, chair of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Sir Gary Verity, CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire and Paul Bayliss, chair of the Manchester Hotels Association, about the ambitious programme of capacity building, product development and trade engagement activities funded through NTGF. Activity and success stories include: securing a second year of the airline route linking Newcastle and New York; a new online training module to help 45,000 overseas travel agents sell holidays to Northern England; China Welcome business training; and high profile consumer marketing in five international markets – US, Holland, Germany, China and Australia.

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The Fund has provided the North East and wider North with a hugely valuable opportunity to not only strengthen the profile of our destinations to potential new international audiences, but to also strengthen our connections with each other, our local tourism businesses and travel partners – ultimately boosting our local economies and global connectivity.

“The US campaign, which promoted inbound travel via the United Airlines route between New York and Newcastle, is just one example of where we have been able to pull together and deliver an impactful campaign that will help us to grow the visitor economy, especially as the flight is now set to return this spring.

“Northern Tourism Growth Fund is a great example of the Northern Powerhouse agenda in action and has brought about a real step change in collaboration to secure future tourism growth. We’re pleased to be playing an active role in helping to realise the ambitions of the North.”

Destination marketing and management organisations NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Visit County Durham and Northumberland Tourism have joined with South Tyneside Council, Sunderland City Council and North Tyneside Council - alongside tourism organisations from across the North of England - to help deliver the programme of activity, which is led by VisitEngland working closely with VisitBritain. Regional representatives have played an active role, including:

  • Representatives from Sunderland City Council and NewcastleGateshead Initiative joined colleagues from other northern destinations at events in Chicago to promote the North East’s offer to corporate buyers and meetings planners.
  • NewcastleGateshead Initiative joined VisitEngland, and a team of destinations from across the North, at IMEX America, which attracts thousands of conference organisers and exhibitors from across the US and around the world.
  • Visit County Durham and NewcastleGateshead Initiative attended a Dutch media event in November to help sell the North to travel journalists and bloggers.
  • Visit County Durham, as part of the content curation team, has worked hard to ensure that the North East’s most attractive assets are showcased as part of the full North of England offer.
  • Representatives from South Tyneside Council and NewcastleGateshead Initiative are on the NTGF Programme Board which is responsible for steering and driving the successful delivery of the Fund.

The Northern Tourism Growth Fund aims to deliver an additional 3,000 jobs and £177m incremental visitor spend.


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