Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crafting New Tourism Policies; A New Breed of Visitors to the Region Are Looking to Learn a Creative Skill during Their Stay. Peter McCusker Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crafting New Tourism Policies; A New Breed of Visitors to the Region Are Looking to Learn a Creative Skill during Their Stay. Peter McCusker Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter McCusker

WITH North East tourism currently riding the crest of a wave a new project has been launched to help businesses develop their offering and encourage repeat visits.

Northumberland Tourism is matching the county's fast-growing artistic and creative sector with an increasing demand from holiday makers for breaks offering an imaginative learning dimension.

Market research giant Mintel recently backed these findings in a report which highlighted that 24% of tourists are now keen to learn a new skill during their holiday.

In Northumberland, that could equate to more than two million visitors looking for an added dimension to their time away.

And the organisation's Made In Northumberland Project (MiN) has arranged a series of taster days to stimulate networking between artists, accommodation providers and attractions.

These B&B, guest house and self-catering owners will be encouraged to develop more creative holidays and short breaks; and gift retailers will be helped to find ways of putting more local pots and paintings in more local shops.

show artists and be adapted for The workshops are at Cragside on November 17, Hexham Abbey on November 18 and Bamburgh Castle on November 19. These 1

They will also give examples of how local products can add value to shops, attractions, guesthouses and hotels. Businesses will be able to network and sample for themselves products they could be marketing to visitors next season.

MiN has worked closely with the creative sector since 2007 and has encouraged local artists to tap into tourism potential.

It has also helped promote the Northumberland Art Tour, an annual event which provides a platform for more than 75 artists to open their doors to the public. It attracts more than 100,000 visitors who spend more than three quarters of a million pounds with local crafts people.

But MiN has detected a lack of high-quality, locally made, affordable gifts being stocked by Northumberland's retail outlets and tourism attractions. Visitors want to take home genuine souvenirs, not imports. It has also identified a growing demand for creative courses and art breaks. …

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