Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

History Is Draw for Tourists Duchess; Overseas Visitors Don't Do Modern, She Says

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

History Is Draw for Tourists Duchess; Overseas Visitors Don't Do Modern, She Says

Article excerpt

Byline: By Brian Daniel

THE Duchess of Northumberland has called for a rethink of the region's overseas marketing strategy, insisting it is castles and history which pull in visitors and not modern city sculptures.

The duchess was speaking yesterday on a break from her worldwide tour to raise funds for the final stage of development at her Alnwick Garden tourism project.

And she insisted people she has met on her travels are more likely to visit the North East to see its unique historic assets rather than its modern attractions such as the Baltic which they can see the likes of at home.

The duchess said: "It is very difficult to market Newcastle and Gateshead as an attraction, what people want is the history, it is Northumberland.

"Why is someone from Sydney going to want to come and see the Baltic? They have got the Opera House and the weather as an added bonus.

"It made me stop and think of what the visitor wants from a trip to the North East.

"It has shown me that it is really important that the whole of the North East wants to pull together and give the visitor what they want and the number one is the history and the castles of Northumberland.

"It is no good me going out and selling Northumberland when we should be working together for the benefit of our region. There are very few areas in the UK that have got what we have got to offer - countryside, the hills, the castles, the history.

"We have got Durham and the Cathedral, we have got a hell of a package really.

"The key people in tourism in the North East should go out and hear what I am hearing."

The duchess also called for her home town of Alnwick to improve its offer to visitors, with delivery of a top-class hotel.

And she insisted people would prefer to stay at a hotel on the Northumberland coast, rather than a caravan park. …

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