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Old June 26th, 2013, 12:01 PM   #21
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Durham Cathedral is voted top UK landmark
by Ruth Lawson, The Journal, June 26th 2013


TOURISTS from across the world have ranked Durham Cathedral as the UK’s best landmark. The building, which towers over the City of Durham, took the top spot in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards beating the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament. It was also placed 20th in the list of favourite European landmarks making it a double celebration for the cathedral.

Ruth Robson, head of marketing and events, welcomed the news which comes as another boost to the site that will next week be welcoming the long-awaited return of the Lindisfarne Gospels. Ms Robson said: “We are delighted that it is hailed as the UK’s number one landmark building in the inaugural TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Attractions awards. We do follow what visitors say on TripAdvisor and appreciate comments good or bad as we strive to be a place of welcome to all who come."

“Durham Cathedral is held with affection by many people, both in the North East of England and worldwide. It is a very special place and whatever prompts a visit, people always appreciate the spirituality and sense of place that the cathedral emulates. It is a grand example of Norman architecture."


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz2XJGGLDJG
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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:52 PM   #22
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Tourists boost business in Newcastle and Gateshead

From today's Journal Live. copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...eshead-5710898

Tourists boost business in Newcastle and Gateshead


By Sonia Sharma - 13th August 2013


Fans at St James Park for the first Olympic football match in Newcastle

A big jump in tourists coming to Tyneside was worth more than £400m to the local economy.

Figures from the marketing agency NewcastleGatestead Initiative show that 1.9 million people spent a total of 4.3 million nights in the area during 2012, contributing £404m to the economy – an increase of 8% from 2011.

Experts say high-profile events, such as Olympic football at St James’ Park and a number of big conferences, helped to boost business.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Despite economically challenging times the area continues to offer stand-out experiences for visitors, from events like EAT! which again takes place later this month, to our world-famous nightlife and a retail and food offer.

“This is a great boost for the economy as well as great news for everyone working in the tourism industry. As well as football, we also hosted the Olympic torch, with a spectacular event that saw Bear Grills zip wire from the Tyne Bridge.

“The summer buzz around the Olympics allowed us to showcase the place as a vibrant and exciting destination, famous for our friendly welcome and inspiring festivals.

“These figures are testament to the success of last year’s Olympic summer, as well as our annual festivals and conferences, which reinforce our reputation for delivering major events.”

As well as an annual programme of events, including the Juice Festival and the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival, last year also saw a string of high-profile meetings held in the area.

The Sage Gateshead hosted the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in March, completing a hat-trick of political party conferences, while Newcastle Civic Centre welcomed the National Union of Journalists in October.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...eshead-5710898

This was the full Press Release from NGI @ http://www.newcastlegateshead.com/me...mic-trend-a233

City-breakers boost business to buck economic trend

12th August 2013

Categories: Convention Bureau News

A packed calendar of festivals and events last year, including Olympic Football at St James’ Park, has cemented NewcastleGateshead’s reputation as a city-break destination of choice, with new figures showing 14% more people stayed overnight in 2012.

Estimated using the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Model (STEAM), the figures released today shows a significant increase in the value and volume of overnight visitors. 1.9m people (up by 200,000 compared to 2011) spent a total of 4.3 million nights in NewcastleGateshead in 2012 (up 5%), contributing £404m to the local economy (up 8%).

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Despite economically challenging times NewcastleGateshead continues to offer stand-out experiences for visitors, from events like EAT! which again takes place later this month, to our world-famous nightlife and a retail and food offer that continues to attract investment. This is a great boost for the local economy as well as great news for everyone working in the tourism industry. ”

Damon Roberts, joint chair of the North East Hotels Association said: “These figures are extremely positive from a hotelier perspective as the popularity of NewcastleGateshead as a destination for overnight visitors continues to grow. A varied events programme across the area helps to boost occupancy at hotels throughout the region.”

Overall the number of visitors, including those coming to NewcastleGateshead for the day, has grown significantly reaching 17.7 million people, (an increase of 1%); tourism is now worth £1.3bn to the local economy. Employment in the sector has also seen growth with 18,799 people now employed in tourism related jobs, (a rise of 2%).

Sleeperz Newcastle opened in January 2012; Javeed Anwar, head of sales and marketing at Sleeperz Hotels, commented: “The performance of our city centre Newcastle hotel reflects the positive economic impact tourism is having in NewcastleGateshead.

“In our first 12 months we welcomed over 35,000 guests and won a hat-trick of industry awards for family friendly accommodation, architectural excellence and customer satisfaction. Opening our second UK hotel in Newcastle was a great decision and our occupancy rates continue to reflect the city’s appeal as a visitor destination.”

As well as NewcastleGateshead’s annual programme of festivals and events, which features favourites like EAT!, Juice Festival and the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival, 2012 also saw a string of high-profile meetings take place.

Sage Gateshead hosted the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in March, completing a hat-trick of political party conferences. While Newcastle Civic Centre welcomed the National Union of Journalists in October; combined, the two events attracted more than 1,850 delegates and ploughed more than £2m into the local economy.

Attractions across the destination also saw increased footfall across the year with 2.3 million visitors, (up 5% compared to 2011). The summer saw the arrival of Olympic Football on Tyneside with teams including Mexico and Brazil taking part in the London 2012 Olympic Football tournament at St James’ Park.

Sarah Stewart added: “As well as Football, we also hosted the Olympic Torch, with a spectacular event that saw Bear Grills zip wire from the Tyne Bridge. The summer buzz around Olympics allowed us to showcase the place as a vibrant and exciting destination, famous for our friendly welcome and inspiring festivals. These figures are testament to the success of last year’s Olympic summer, as well as our annual festivals and conferences, which reinforce our reputation for delivering major events.”

NewcastleGateshead Initiative is currently undertaking a face to face survey to get direct feedback from visitors about their stay and see how the experience can be made even better.

The survey, the first of its kind for three years, will provide valuable data to help understand who is currently coming to NewcastleGateshead and help shape future marketing campaigns. Partners including hotels and leisure attractions will be helping carry out the survey which will run throughout the summer.

2012 Tourism in NewcastleGateshead

• 17.7 million people visited NewcastleGateshead (up by 1%).
• Overall visitors spent 20 million days in NewcastleGateshead with a total expenditure of £1.3 billion (up by 2%).
• The destination welcomed 1.9 million overnight visitors (up by 14%).
• Overnight visitors spent 4.3 million nights in NewcastleGateshead (up by 5%).
• Overnight visitor spend £404m (up by 8%).
• Tourism directly employs 14,822 in NewcastleGateshead (up by 2%) with total employment at 18,799 (up by 2%).
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Old August 17th, 2013, 01:59 PM   #23
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Sage Gateshead to host second annual Travel Bloggers Conference

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/business...annual-5743629

Sage Gateshead to host second annual Travel Bloggers Conference

By Journal - 17th August 2013



Tyneside is hoping to get a tourism boost from hosting a conference for some of the country’s top travel writers.

The second annual Travel Bloggers Conference will be held at Sage Gateshead next February.

Brighton hosted the inaugural event in 2013 and has benefited from a series of blog posts and social media buzz following the conference.

Michael Ball, from organisers Traverse, said: “Sage Gateshead is the ideal venue for Traverse 14 because it provides a unique, creative and vibrant space, perfect for delivering an inspiring conference.

“Our attendees are used to travelling the world and seeing amazing sights so we wanted to make sure that we had a stunning venue with a great backdrop.

“With Sage Gateshead and the River Tyne we have both of those elements, while NewcastleGateshead gives us the vibrant, energy filled, fun destination we were looking for.” Among those speaking at the event will be Kash Bhattacharya, better known as the Budget Traveller, as well as Anna Silva O’Reilly, Portuguese creator of the award-winning luxury travel blog Mrs O Around the World. Both bloggers will be sharing their expertise with delegates throughout the conference program.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The opportunity to host Traverse 14 is truly exciting. Not only is it testament to our credentials as a conference and events destination, but evidence that NewcastleGateshead is a dynamic place with a vibrant and famously friendly personality that is a constant draw for city-breakers.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/business...annual-5743629
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:33 PM   #24
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Whatever happened to the England Coastal Path?

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...l-path-6020334

Whatever happened to the England Coastal Path?

By The Journal - 14th September 2013



The England Coastal Path was a bold plan to create one of the world’s longest footpaths covering Britain’s entire 2,800-mile coastline. It was due to be completed by 2019 and expected to provide a major boost to the economy - like the South West Coastal Path which generates an estimated £300m a year for the West Country and supports more than 7,500 jobs.

Under the original timetable, the path was due to be extended to Northumberland and Tyne and Wear between 2013 and 2016.

But North East MPs have now demanded answers in the House of Commons amid concerns that the Government is stalling.

England has managed to build just 20 miles of coastal path since the project was announced in 2009.

And ministers have hinted that its future is uncertain. Earlier this year, environment minister Richard Benyon said the government had inherited some policies that would be extremely expensive to deliver.

The England Coastal Path was the brainchild of former environment secretary and South Shields MP David Miliband, under the last Labour Government. In 2009 the proposal was included in the Marine and Coastal Access Act.

Today, the Government officially remains committed to the project - and ministers have approved the building of two more stretches, including 22 miles of path in Cumbria and 34 miles in Yorkshire and County Durham.

But MPs say that at the current rate of progress it is difficult to see how the Government can possibly complete the work by 2019.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...l-path-6020334
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Old September 16th, 2013, 12:55 PM   #25
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Visitors put off returning to Northumberland by prospect of turbines

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...ospect-6026468

Visitors put off returning to Northumberland by prospect of turbines
By Brian Daniel - 16th September 2013



An increasing number of visitors to Northumberland say they are less likely to return if more wind turbines are built in the county.

The Middleton Burn Action Group, fighting planned wind farms near Belford, conducted a survey for the second year in a row asking tourists whether those proposed turbines would impact on their likelihood of returning.

Whereas last year 64% of respondents said turbines would adversely effect their choice of North Northumberland as a holiday destination, that figure increased to 76.9% in 2013.

The action group has put the rise down to the fact that visitors “have been able to see for themselves the devastation allowed to be wrought on this beautiful area” following the erection of a number of turbines in the county over the past year.

However, a developer of one county wind farm has insisted turbines soon can become visitor attractions.

The group carried out its first survey in August and September last year asking visitors to Belford to assess the possible effect on tourism of 25 proposed wind turbines at Middleton Burn and Belford Burn. 64% said they would visit the area less often and the same percentage said they would recommend the area less often.

67% said they would stay in the area less time while 85% believed turbines would make North Northumberland “very spoilt.”

Since then, 28 engines have been erected at Middlemoor and Wandylaw.

The group decided to conduct the survey again over the same months, and the percentage of respondents who said they would visit less often rose to 76.9%, an increase of over 12%.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...ospect-6026468
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Old October 29th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #26
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Northumberland to target 'vikings' for tourism

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...ourism-6250566

Northumberland to target 'vikings' for tourism
By Adrian Pearson - 29th October 2013


Sycamore tree at Hadrian's Wall

Northumberland is to target Scandinavian visitors in a new tourism pitch.

County council bosses are hoping next year they can tap into the estimated £600m travel spending power of countries from Norway to Latvia.

Council leader Grant Davey says he wants to encourage a key part of any growth in tourism to come from the Scandinavian and Baltic states and their combined populations of over 30m people.

As part of the council’s rebranding efforts more will be done to support the industry, and funding will be found to help sell Northumberland to tourists arriving in the North East through ferry services into North Shields.

The so called ‘Viking Raiders’ will be targeted as part of a wider tourism pitch which sees council publications, website, banners and campaigns all tweaked to ensure they are promoting Northumberland to foreign visitors.

Mr Davey said: “We’re keen to make sure that we can make Northumberland as attractive as possible for visitors and residents alike and we want to encourage visitors from our traditional neighbours in Scandinavia who visit Tyneside in increasing numbers to look further North into our beautiful county.

“We’ve got very strong cultural links with Scandinavia and the Baltic states and we’re going to work flat out to make sure these visitors get a chance to sample the delights of Northumberland.”

Tourism is worth some £700m a year to the county, with at least 2,000 jobs directly linked to the industry. The council has set an ambitious target of increasing trade by at least 15% in the next five years, with plans underway to work with potential partners in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland and in the Scottish Borders to develop links to promote visitor opportunities in Northumberland.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...ourism-6250566
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Old November 16th, 2013, 11:48 AM   #27
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Tourists 'are shunning the North' according to travel website TripAdvisor

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/...ording-6311199

Tourists 'are shunning the North' according to travel website TripAdvisor
By Sonia Sharma - 16th November 2013


Bamburgh Castle is one of the jewels of the North East

Tourists are shunning the North East, according to a new survey.

No area of the region was included in travel website TripAdvisor’s top 10 destinations according to Brits, or its top 10 destinations according to international travellers.

But although tourism bosses from NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Visit County Durham and Visit Northumberland, all said work still needed to be done to help boost tourism, each said the region still had a lot to offer visitors.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative said that despite challenging times, the region is still a popular destination for both domestic and international visitors.

“Last year over 425,000 international visitors chose to stay in North East England and experience the beauty of our coast and countryside and the breadth of our cultural, heritage and tourism attractions; whilst 95% of visitors to our region come from within the UK, international visitors account for 18% of total visitor spend,” she said.

“NewcastleGateshead Initiative works hard to attract even more high spending international visitors, particularly from Ireland, Holland, Germany and Belgium – four countries which account for a significant proportion of our international visitors and which have direct flight and ferry routes into the North East.”

But she added that the lack of a direct transatlantic flight did reduce the number of visitors coming to the North East from the USA and Canada, however other main routes would help attract large numbers of visitors in 2015 for the Rugby World Cup.

Melanie Sensicle, chief executive at Visit County Durham, said attractions such as Durham Cathedral and the Lumiere festival were great pulls to the region, but also said that there was no place to be complacent.

And Jude Leach, general manager for Visit Northumberland added that the region was ambitious to attract more attention from tourists.

But TripAdvisor spokesperson, Stephanie Boyle said all was not lost for the region.

She added: “Unfortunately, Newcastle and the North East did not make it into the list of the top 10 destinations for traveller interest this year, however, when we consider the other destinations that feature, there is no reason why the area could not appear in future lists.”
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Old November 22nd, 2013, 12:19 PM   #28
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Lindisfarne Gospels visit leads the way at tourism awards

Courtesy of today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/lin...ds-way-6329992

Lindisfarne Gospels visit leads the way at tourism awards
By Brian Daniel - 22nd November 2013


Seafield Caravan Park, near Bamburgh, Northumberland

Durham’s staging of the world famous book picked up two honours at the North East England Tourism Awards 2013, held at St James’ Park - golds in the tourism event and tourism experience categories.

Among the other winners were National Trust property Gibside at Gateshead, in the large visitor attraction section, and Seafield Caravan Park at Seahouses and Leaplish Waterside Park at Kielder, which shared top prize in the caravan holiday park category.

The accolade for Leaplish follows Kielder Water and Forest Park being named England’s Best Tourism Experience last year.

The awards seek to recognise the contribution of tourism businesses to the region’s visitor economy.

That is said to be worth £3.61bn and to support more than 54,600 jobs across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham, representing employment growth of 5% in the decade since 2003.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Once again, the North East England Tourism Awards has demonstrated the vibrancy and breadth of what the industry has to offer visitors across the region.

“The judges had a really tough time this year, with an extremely high quality standard of applications.

“It was difficult in many cases to select one overall winner.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the winners, who have again proven that the tourism industry is one of the region’s most innovative economies, and thank everyone who was involved in making the awards such a great success.”

NewcastleGateshead Initiative worked alongside other members of the Northern Tourism Alliance members and wider partners to organise the 2013 awards - including Visit County Durham, Northumberland Tourism, Hadrian’s Wall Trust, Northumberland County Council, Sunderland City Council, North Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Council.

The awards ceremony was attended by 430 members of the business community and hosted by BBC Look North presenter Carol Malia.

Winners will have the chance to follow in Kielder’s footsteps and compete on a national stage against those from England’s other regions at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in 2014.

Not mentioned in this piece but the Victoria Tunnel won the SMALL VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR AWARD
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Last edited by Steve Ellwood; November 22nd, 2013 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Added reference to Victoria Tunnel
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Old December 17th, 2013, 03:40 PM   #29
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Campaign brings £9m in tourism for Northumberland and Tyne and Wear

Courtesy of today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...erland-6411966

Campaign brings £9m in tourism for Northumberland and Tyne and Wear

By Sara Nichol - 17th December 2013


Conservation Officer Andrew Sawyer, from Cragside, Rothbury

A national marketing campaign to attract visitors to Northumberland and Tyne and Wear has generated nearly £9m extra in six months.

Northumberland’s Historic Spirit and Have the Tyne of Your Life are part of VisitEngland’s three-year, Growing Tourism Locally activity, funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

In Northumberland, visitors were encouraged to take advantage of a year packed with historical events, from the 100th anniversary of Cragside house to the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.

Meanwhile, in Tyne and Wear, the distinctive Geordie tone of voice was used to appeal to potential domestic visitors, encouraging them to learn more and book a short break.

Profiling the variety of the region’s cultural offer, alongside shopping and nightlife, the campaign also saw travel features in key national and consumer titles.

Figures have now revealed that visitors spent £4.3m in Northumberland in six months and £4.5m in Tyne and Wear.

The extra cash generated was also thought to have provided nearly 170 new jobs for the area.

Figures for County Durham will be released in the New Year.

VisitEngland works with Northumberland Tourism, NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Visit County Durham to deliver the campaign.

Jude Leitch, of Northumberland Tourism, said: “Northumberland is often considered a ‘hidden gem’.

“We want to change that and introduce as many UK visitors as possible to our spectacular scenery, interesting attractions and fascinating stories.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...erland-6411966
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 03:28 PM   #30
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Huge cash injection hopes to boost North East visitor numbers

Courtesy of today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...-boost-6536361

Huge cash injection hopes to boost North East visitor numbers
By Ruth Lognonne - 22nd January 2014



A programme of developments worth more than £700,000 that will help drive thousands of visitors to the region has been given the go-ahead.

Northern Lands includes a range of projects designed to bring the landscapes to life and help visitors explore the area.

The projects include establishing a network of electric bikes for hire, upgrading existing and creating new discovery sites and establishing food trails.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has commited £463,000 to seven projects in the North Pennines AONB, Northumberland National Park, the Northumberland Coast AONB and the Durham Heritage Coast as well as new cycle routes in Hamsterly Forest and Kielder Forest.

This has been matched with £286,000 of cash from the protected landscape organisations, Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council.

The project is being run by Visit County Durham, the destination management and marketing agency for County Durham.

Melanie Sensicle, chief executive of Visit County Durham, said: “We are delighted we have been able to help bring this investment into the North East.

“Our protected landscapes are some of our most important assets and we want visitors to discover and enjoy them.

“Each landscape has its own characteristics and qualities and Northern Lands will bring these to the attention of many more people.

“The projects will develop the landscapes in a responsible and appropriate way and will help sustain our rural communities, who do so much to look after these special places.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “The new cycle routes, electric bikes and trails are expected to attract an extra 30,000 visitors to the area, boosting the prospects of 195 tourism businesses in the region and creating new jobs.”

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...-boost-6536361
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Old February 19th, 2014, 02:38 PM   #31
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Historic North East walking routes under threat

From yesterday's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...routes-6722137

Historic North East walking routes under threat
By Adrian Pearson - 18th February 2014



Historic walking routes across the North East could be lost if councils do not process a right-of-way backlog.

A report by the Ramblers has revealed a serious backlog of paths waiting to be recognised as public footpaths. Any historic paths not officially recorded as public rights of way by 2026 will be extinguished.

Accurate numbers in the North East were not available, but campaigners say nationally some 4,000 routes would be lost forever.

To help combat this problem the Ramblers has launched the Don’t Lose Your Way campaign. The Ramblers has also been working with landowners, land managers and local authorities to find ways to make the process for recording paths more efficient, consistent across the country, and less contentious, helping to claim as many historic paths as possible before the 2026 cut-off date.

Derrick Joanes, of the Berwick group, said there was good reason to back the campaign. He said: “It is really important that we preserve these footpaths and the access to them. In Scotland the rights of way are better, we can go where we want as long as we are not invading someone’s privacy in effect, but in England the rights of way have to be recognised.”

As well as leading walks the Ramblers groups across the North East have played a role in combatting some wind turbines, with the groups often involved in objections to turbines and wind farms which specifically intrude in sensitive areas or would be an obstruction to rights of way.

The group’s recommendations were put forward to Government and have now been included in the draft Deregulation Bill. MP’s discussed the proposals for the first time on February 3.

Ramblers chief executive Benedict Southworth said: “The proposed legislation has been carefully put together by representatives from landowners, paths users, and local government – including ourselves and the NFU – who have worked together for over three years to simplify the law around rights of way for the benefit of everyone.

“This carefully crafted solution should make it easier for historic paths to be added to the definitive map – the official record of all public paths. Many of these paths have existed for hundreds of years – they are an ‘inscription on the landscape’ made by generations of people going about their business, and are as much a part of our heritage as our ancient monuments and historic buildings.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...routes-6722137
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Old February 25th, 2014, 12:49 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzar86 View Post
I visited Durham a couple of days ago and it was quite interesting to compare a few things. As a place, it was like a cross between a large Beverley and a small York. Some good picturesque views, but the demographic of people seemed to be almost split into thirds of: eldery tourists, students and then trackie-wearing types.

For any of the readers from around all the North-East sub-forums, it'd be good to see your viewpoints RE: the North-East's efforts on tourism, as you're in amongst it all the time. And as an opinion on Durham, although there could be more to do, I really enjoyed it as a day out.
.

Dazzar86, Further to the Opening Post, there are a lot of posts on this thread now about Tourism in all four of our City-led North East England Forums.

I hope the 'viewpoints' given (as requested) and other information discussed, have been of use and are of interest?
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Old March 25th, 2014, 02:33 PM   #33
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Tourism row as Northumberland blocked from Government cash bid

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...rnment-6872200

Tourism row as Northumberland blocked from Government cash bid
Mar 25, 2014 08:03 By Adrian Pearson


Polar Explorer Conrad Dickinson and Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park Authority at Steel Rigg, Hadrian's Wall

Tourism projects vital to Northumberland will be denied a chance to bid for Government cash.

Hopes of building on Northumberland’s tourist hotspot status were dashed when planners were told the latest Government advice was that new projects would not bring in enough jobs and so will not get any cash from a £2bn local growth fund.

Officials in Northumberland were told the news when they asked for £2m from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, the business-led group backed by Government tasked with co-ordinating job creation efforts. Cash would have gone towards The Sill project, a visitor centre which would have created more than 100 jobs. The partnership told Northumberland the blame lay with the Government, saying cities minister Greg Clark made the blunt assessment of the likelihood of funding bids being successful when he met business and council leaders last week.

But last night the Cabinet office said it was “absolutely wrong” to rule out tourism projects, and insisted the North East could try for cash if it could prove that the tourism project would create jobs.

Tourism in Northumberland alone is said to support some 16,000 jobs, but, Northumberland County Council has been told, strict funding rules for the new cash pot will rule out supporting visitor centres, galleries or hotels. The snub has raised fears at County Hall that money handed to the region through the Local Growth Fund will almost entirely benefit urban Tyneside and Sunderland.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...rnment-6872200
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 11:16 AM   #34
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Minister asked to explain Northumberland tourism centre funding snub

Courtesy of today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...ourism-6911551

Minister asked to explain Northumberland tourism centre funding snub
Apr 03, 2014 08:27 By Adrian Pearson


An image of the final design for the The Sill landscape discovery centre

A minister will be asked to explain a funding snub which puts on hold plans for a multi-million pound Northumberland tourism centre.

Northumberland County Council is writing to Greg Clark to ask whether it was his department that was to blame for denying funding to the Sill project, a National Landscape Discovery Centre in the Northumberland National Park.

It had been hoped that the centre near Bardon Mill would get Government help in meeting its £10m building cost. That hope was dashed when the Local Enterprise Partnership, tasked with bringing together £120m of North East cash bids, told the council it was under the impression Government funds will not be handed to tourism projects, a claim Mr Clark’s office has denied. A letter to the Government seeking urgent clarification comes as a new report commissioned by the National Park showed that the centre could bring in 100,000 visitors a year, add £5m to the regional tourism economy and create around 117 jobs.

Council leader Grant Davey suggests in his letter that both the Government and the partnership are to blame for the jobs snub. He says: “We believe that both the local enterprise partnership and Government are potentially missing an excellent opportunity to stimulate growth. The project will support the resilience of the rural economy and crucially can be effectively delivered in 2015/16. Tourism related activity has the potential to add further value to the economy but only if visitor experiences and facilities are invested in through projects like the Sill adding quality experiences.”

Tony Gates, chief executive of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “Recent reports may have suggested that the future funding of The Sill is uncertain but we want to remind people that we are making great progress and this is the last push to raise funds needed to make the project a reality.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...ourism-6911551
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Old May 9th, 2014, 10:58 AM   #35
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Why the North East will become a hot-spot for tourists from Down Under

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/business...urists-7093620

Why the North East will become a hot-spot for tourists from Down Under
May 09, 2014 07:32 By Ruth Lognonne


Bamburgh Beach and castle

The North East has become a hot spot for Australian visitors - with tourists from Down Under set to spend up to £40m a year in the region by 2017.

Our barbecue-loving cousins are just one of a number of foreign visitors who are destined to contribute as much as £347m to the North East economy over the next three years, according to a piece of research from Barclays.

The relaxation of visa rules, particularly for visitors from emerging markets such as UAE and China, will play a large role in the increase. It is also predicted that Chinese spending in the region could increase by 76% from 2013.

According to a new report from Barclays, Norway is to enter the top 10 North East spenders’ league table by 2017, while Spanish tourists were pushed out of the top 10 spenders by new entrants. Research showed Australian visitors contributed over £25m to the local economy last year, followed by Irish visitors, spending £20m. With its wealth of world-class attractions and historical heritage, the North East remains a draw for foreign tourists visiting the UK.

Brian Thorpe, Barclays head of Corporate Bank, North East, said: “The North East has beautiful landscapes, a strong cultural imprint together with brilliant retail and culinary hotspots making it a real ‘go-to’ destination. The lifting of visa restrictions presents a huge opportunity and so the importance of how North East operators market themselves to their different audiences cannot be overstated. Whether it’s engaging with in-flight publications, working with local tourist offices, promoting their business overseas or collaborating with other retailers and leisure operators in their local environment, the benefits of targeted profile-raising can make the difference.”

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/business...urists-7093620
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Old May 9th, 2014, 03:53 PM   #36
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Rugby World Cup 2015: Newcastle welcomes the world

From the Newcastle City Council web site @ https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/news-st...welcomes-world

Rugby World Cup 2015: Newcastle welcomes the world
09 May 2014


Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of the Council, Lawrence Dallaglio and Cllr Ged Bell

The world will be watching when the Rugby World Cup 2015 lands with an almighty thud on Tyneside, with St James' Park hosting three group matches featuring superpowers of the sport.

Newcastle was chosen as one of only 10 host cities (comprising 13 venues) across England and Wales because of its world-class sporting credentials.

The tournament takes place between September 18 and October 31 2015.

St James' Park will provide the iconic backdrop for three matches featuring two of rugby's great superpowers; the all-conquering New Zealand All Blacks, defending their title, and mighty double World Cup winners South Africa. They will be joined by former World Cup semi-finalists Scotland and the formidable South Sea Islanders Tonga and Samoa in three mouth-watering clashes:

South Africa v Scotland, 3 October 16:45
New Zealand v Tonga, 9 October 20:00
Samoa v Scotland, 10 October 14:30

With Newcastle's starring role in the London 2012 Olympics still fresh in the memory, the scene is set for an outstanding RWC 2015. The countdown starts here.

For information on tickets, visiting the city and the region, volunteering as an ambassador, and promoting rugby locally, visit www.newcastlegateshead.com/rwc
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Old May 16th, 2014, 10:56 AM   #37
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Vera credited with bringing more tourists to Northumberland

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...urists-7124197

Vera credited with bringing more tourists to Northumberland

May 16, 2014 06:30 By Ian Robson


Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope

Visitors are flocking to the North East because they have been watching the TV series Vera, tourism chiefs have revealed.

The show, which stars Brenda Blethyn as Vera Stanhope, has been credited with playing its part in boosting the region’s economy. Bosses say they have noticed a surge in interest following broadcasts. And some fans from outside the area have been asking to be shown the locations featured in the two-hour episodes. “There is evidence that Vera is attracting visitors to the North East,” said a spokeswoman for Northumberland Tourism. We have had inquiries to our email address asking to be directed to the town and even the particular streets featured in the show There was a lot of interest when we did a Spot The Location item on Twitter. There is no doubt that Vera is doing her bit. The show has definitely had a positive impact on tourist numbers.”

One email asked to be directed to locations in the season four show On Harbour Street, which launched this year’s series, about the death of a pensioner on a Newcastle train during rush hour. It said: “My family and I are visiting Northumberland this year and we would like to visit some of the places featured in the Vera TV series, in particular, the village featured in On Harbour Street.” The inquirer was directed to sites in Newbiggin and Alnmouth.

Jude Leitch, general manager of Northumberland Tourism, said: “We aren’t able to measure the individual impact of each programme that features Northumberland, but every time the beautiful scenery of Northumberland is televised it helps spread the word about what a fantastic holiday destination Northumberland is. Thanks, in part to programmes aired recently including Vera, we are gearing up for a bumper summer following on from a fantastic Easter. Visitors to visitnorthumberland.com are already up 30% on average compared to 2013, with over 107,000 unique visitors in April alone.”

And it’s not just rural locations which fans have fallen in love with. Urban settings have also gathered interest. Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Positive portrayals of NewcastleGateshead and the wider North East play an important part in raising the profile of our region’s iconic locations and stunning countryside. Primetime television shows, like Vera, reach millions of people every week and will no doubt increase interest in an area. Whilst we can’t measure the direct impact television programmes have in boosting tourism, anything that paints the region in a positive light certainly encourages more people to visit.”

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...urists-7124197
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Old May 20th, 2014, 11:14 AM   #38
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North East beaches are among the best - and now it's official!

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia L:td @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...g-best-7140882

North East beaches are among the best - and now it's official!
May 20, 2014 06:30 By Michael Brown



The North East has some of the best beaches in the country, new awards show.

A number of beaches on Tyneside have been given awards by Keep Britain Tidy, with four - Longsands and King Edward’s Bay in Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and Sandhaven Beach in South Shields - rewarded for their exceptional cleanliness and water quality with a coveted Blue Flag.

“It’s fantastic news for everyone who loves visiting the seaside that 12 beaches will be flying a flag in the North East that guarantees the public the best facilities and the cleanest beaches this summer,” Richard McIlwain, of Keep Britain Tidy, said. We know that for many holiday makers and daytrippers clean, safe beaches, with good water quality and facilities are important factors in deciding which beach to visit and the continuing quality of management at these beaches is a real testament to the dedication, hard work and investment that local authorities and other beach managers put in year after year. We have some fantastic coastline and we know that communities up and down the country love their beaches. They provide opportunities for people to get outside, relax and have fun for free, while visitors to our beaches often provide support for local jobs and inward investment at sea front resorts. And the sight of the Blue Flag or Seaside Award flying gives visitors the reassurance that they’ll have a great time”

Across the country, 56 beaches were awarded the Blue Flag. Another 112, including eight in the North East, got the new Seaside Award. The Blue Flags recognise “resort beaches” with facilities, which is why the more unspoilt coast of Northumberland is not represented. Thanet in Kent has claimed the most Blue Flag beaches with seven.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 08:51 PM   #39
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New York Times' article praises beauty of the North East

From today's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...raises-7240974

New York Times' article praises beauty of the North East

Jun 09, 2014 17:30 By Sarah Scott



Tourism bosses have hailed an article in one of the world’s top newspapers which highlights the North East as the best place to visit in the UK.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley visited Durham, parts of Northumberland and Tyneside on her trip across the Atlantic for the New York Times. The newspaper is one of America and the world’s best read sources of news, with its website receiving more than 30 million visitors a month. In a travel piece for the paper, Ms Smiley praised the North East, telling readers that “four days of exploration and admiration was shading into love”.

Now bosses at the region’s tourism boards are hopeful that her glowing report will boost visitor numbers from the US as well as other international visitors.

While in Durham, Ms Smiley visited the Cathedral as well as Durham Castle and the Parish Church of St Oswald. In her piece, titled “Lost in Time in England’s Northeast”, she said: “As small and old as it is, Durham is chock-full of hiding places, wildflowers, sudden views of sky and meadows. It did not remind me of anywhere else I have been in Britain.”

Ivor Stolliday, the chairman of the Visit County Durham board, said: “It’s a terrific article, really well researched and draws on the extraordinary history and vitality of the place. I hope it brings more visitors, particularly from the USA. We are acutely aware that people get on the train from London and see Durham Cathedral from the window on their way to Edinburgh and wonder what that place was. It would be great if more people got off in Durham now.” He added: “We have worked for years to get Durham’s name better known and I think we are achieving it. We are delighted with this article. The New York Times has a huge online readership and its themes and ideas get picked up by other people, this is really positive for us and very accurate.”

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...raises-7240974
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Old June 17th, 2014, 11:42 AM   #40
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Two North East landmarks are the best in the country

From yesterday's Journal Live, copyright NCJMedia Ltd @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...s-best-7277374

Two North East landmarks are the best in the country
Jun 16, 2014 19:38 By Katie Davies


Cragside


Durham Cathederal from the roof of Durham Castle

Two North East landmarks are among the best in the country.

Durham Cathedral and Cragside House and Gardens in Northumberland, have been placed in the top 10 of best landmarks in the UK.

In the Travellers’ Choice TM awards, announced by TripAdvisor, Durham Cathedral was ranked fifth, while Cragside House picked up eighth place.

Melanie Sensicle, chief executive of Visit County Durham, said: “It comes as no surprise to me that Durham Cathedral has received this recognition from TripAdvisor. The cathedral has received several accolades over the last few years, and this cements its reputation as one of the UK’s most popular and beautiful buildings. The fact that the recognition comes from the general public is really important to us.”

The Travellers’ Choice awards honour top travel spots worldwide based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers.

Read more @ http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/nor...s-best-7277374
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