Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Beaches Are Snubbed INTRIPADVISOR Awards

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Beaches Are Snubbed INTRIPADVISOR Awards

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Luke Reporter

NORTH East tourism chiefs say travellers are missing out after the region's iconic beaches were snubbed by TripAdvisor users.

No stretches of coastline in Northumberland, Durham, North or South Tyneside made the European or UK top 25 lists in the 2015 Travellers' Choice Awards.

The winners are generated from reviews posted on the website, with Woolacombe beach in Devon claiming first place domestically, fourth in Europe and 13th in the world's top beach table.

Wednesday's snub came a day after its attractions performed poorly in the second round of VisitEngland accolades in recognition of quality visitor experience, including welcome awards, hidden gems, best told story, quality cafe and a gold rating for top-scoring attractions.

Of 57 English attractions, Durham's Oriental Museum was the only in the North East to be selected, while four made the grade in Cumbria.

A spokeswoman for North Tyneside Council said weather may have been behind the snub.

She said: "TripAdvisor regularly has great things to say about our businesses, parks, opens spaces and beaches, but sadly we don't always have the lovely weather enjoyed on the beaches in the European Top 25, especially those on the Islands of Sicily, in the Balearics and the Greek islands."

But she added: "We're immensely proud of our beautiful and awardwinning beaches. They are hugely popular with residents and have been consistently recognised regionally, nationally and internationally.

"The beaches are a much-loved attraction and help to bring tourism worth PS243million to the local economy - people are always telling us how wonderful they are and they're always very popular throughout the year."

The region has four Blue Flag Award beaches in Longsands and King Edward's Bay in Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and Sandhaven Beach in South Shields, while other stretches have claimed a range of other gongs including Keep Britain Tidy recognition.

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, added: "Our extensive beaches, sand dunes and hidden coves are among South Tyneside's key assets and are enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents every year. …

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