Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North East Tops Tourism Poll

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North East Tops Tourism Poll

Article excerpt

People from the North- East have always known what a great place it is, and word is certainly spreading as the region has topped the table for increased visitor figures for the second year in a row. A recent VisitBritain report, entitled Visitor Attrac-tions Trends England 2003, states that visits to North-East attractions rose by an impressive 16pc during 2003. This was the highest increase in visitor figures of any region in the UK.

And with some landmark openings in the region recently, including Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, Weardale Railway and the introduction of new routes at Newcastle International and Durham Tees Valley airports, it is a trend that is hopefully set to continue.

One NorthEast, the organisation charged with developing tourism in the region, is actively building on this success, investing more than pounds 4.2m into supporting the industry in this year alone,

Much of this has gone towards funding very targeted, effective marketing campaigns, including a successful spring and summer advertising drive, a themed cycling campaign and an autumn/winter promotion.

Stacy Hall, director of communications at One NorthEast, explains: "This level of investment in marketing the region is unprecedented and it is a figure we will be looking to build on in the years ahead.

"We are soon to put forward our investment plans for 2005/08 to the DTi, which will see an even greater level of funding for tourism and promoting the image of the North- East.

"In addition to our direct tourism investments, we estimate that 50pc to 75pc of all One NorthEast's expenditure impacts on tourism in some way, for example through regeneration projects, investment in market towns and rural areas, and levering in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to conserve our heritage assets.

"Key projects that have an obvious impact on tourism include One NorthEast's pounds 25m contribution to the Culture 10 programme and the work we are spearheading on maximising the economic potential of Hadrian's Wall. …

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