Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

City's Lack of Tourism Office 'Puts Visitors Off' COUNCIL CRITICISED FOR LEAVING TOURISTS IN THE DARK AFTER CUTS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

City's Lack of Tourism Office 'Puts Visitors Off' COUNCIL CRITICISED FOR LEAVING TOURISTS IN THE DARK AFTER CUTS

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON MEECHAN Reporter simon.meechan@trinitymirror.com @SimonMeechan_90

NEWCASTLE'S lack of a tourist information centre has been called into question amid fears it could put off visitors.

Former city council leader and Liberal Democrat councillor, David Faulkner, will ask the city council to consider creating a new hub in the Laing Art Gallery after reading critical comments from those spending time on Tyneside.

Coun Faulkner will put a motion before today's full meeting of Newcastle City Council, suggesting the authority uses private sponsorship to help pay for it.

The last centre, in Market Street, shut in 2015 due to budget cuts. Another in Grainger Street closed in 2006, according to Newcastle City Council. And tourists have criticised the city on the TripAdvisor website for not doing enough to help visitors.

One user wrote: "It is beggars belief that a tourist can arrive in Newcastle upon Tyne and is unable to obtain information on local city attractions. We had to rely on assistance from our hotel receptionist and the limited brochures available. In the city, we followed the street signage where possible but we were really unable to plan our days.

"The decision to close the centre, with the loss of six jobs, was included in the 2015/2016 city budget. Strange decision as the city has an international airport and a cruiseline terminal."

Another said: "Before our trip to Newcastle I had noted down the location of this information office and another one in Gateshead, and obviously because of the location in the centre we chose to go to this one.

"Only when we got there we found out that it is closed, completely empty and there is only a sign on the window saying that it has been closed and moved to the library. Next to it there is a big map of the centre... but no sign of where the library is. …

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