Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Attractions Are Many, and the Football Is Pretty Cheap; Campaign City Makes Bid for Tourism Market THINK NORTH EAST FIRST

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Attractions Are Many, and the Football Is Pretty Cheap; Campaign City Makes Bid for Tourism Market THINK NORTH EAST FIRST

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Pattinson

TOURISM chiefs may have found a way for the credit crunch to benefit North East businesses.

As part of the response to the recession on Wearside, Sunderland Council chiefs want to create a new marketing campaign promoting the city as a short-stay and visitor destination.

Chief executive Dave Smith has told leading councillors the city should take advantage of an anticipated growth in demand for UK-based destinations that "represent value for money".

And council leader Paul Watson yesterday said the campaign would help promote good local services - backing The Journal's Think North East First campaign - encouraging people to spend their money locally.

Coun Watson said yesterday that Sunderland was considering a number of ways in which local firms could be helped through the downturn.

He said: "These include supporting local businesses, improving people's employability, helping people who may have financial problems, stimulating the housing market and pursuing major strategic projects, such as the multi-million pound new Wear bridge.

"And we are looking at how we continue to actively promote good and services locally.

"Naturally we welcome The Journal's Think North East First campaign as we all have to work together in these difficult times."

Sunderland's campaign has been backed by tourism chiefs at One North East, whose website includes an exhaustive list of things to see and do across the region.

Louise Davis, head of tourism and culture at One North East, said yesterday: "Sunderland has got some fantastic attractions, like the National Glass Centre and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, that are really worth a visit whether you are coming from inside or outside the region.

"This year, when people may be thinking of holidaying closer to home, is the perfect time to find out what is on offer in places such as Sunderland and the rest of the region. …

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