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Business & Economy

Region urged to shine a light on our tourism sector this English Tourism Week

NGI are calling on the region to show their support for the tourism industry, celebrating and sharing everything our area has to offer. As part of the week. NGI will be hosting an online webinar on Wednesday, May 26, to bring tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses and the industry together to reflect on the challenges of the past 12 months and the ongoing support available to the sector as it starts to rebuild.

Everyone can get involved in the conversation online by using #EnglishTourismWeek21 #SupportNETourism on social media, showing support for the sector and sharing favourite places to visit in North East.  For anyone taking the opportunity to visit one of the regions visitor attractions between May 22-31, NGI is encouraging the public to take photos and tag @NGInitiative and @VisitEnglandBiz and help to attract more people to visit the region.

To date, projected lost revenues from the sector are estimated to amount to more than £1.3bn, with more than 13,000 jobs lost and more 1.2 million lost bed nights in Newcastle and Gateshead alone.  The first three months of 2021 saw Newcastle and Gateshead miss out on more than 4 million visitors, with an economic loss of £402m.

Although the pandemic had a devastating impact on UK tourism, with the loss of approximately 36,000 jobs in the North East to date, in 2019, tourism was one of England’s largest and most valuable industries and will be one of the main drivers of economic recovery. May 17 was a significant milestone in the tourism sector’s road to recovery, with some businesses being able to reopen for the first time and others reopening again after months of closure.

In 2020, visitor expenditure fell by 64% compared to 2019. However, NGI’s recent consumer sentiment research gives real confidence that the region is heading in the right direction towards recovery, with 70% of residents saying they felt comfortable welcoming back visitors this summer and taking trips around the region. The region has also seen continued investment in the sector with the recent opening of the Hard Rock Café and INNSiDE Melia Hotel on the quayside, as well as ongoing plans for a £260m Newcastle Gateshead Quays regeneration scheme that is set to attract more than 300,000 additional visitors a year.

Sarah Green, chief executive, NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: “This is the start of a new chapter and journey towards a brighter future, but we must continue to support the tourism sector. This is your invitation to support local businesses, celebrate everything our great city has to offer and help us to attract more visitors to a region that is bursting with culture, open spaces, an award-winning restaurant scene and places to stay.”

Ian Thomas, director of leisure tourism and Research at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, added: “After what has been a devastating year for the sector it is reassuring to see demand and confidence from residents to get out and about and to welcome visitors. English Tourism Week could not come at a more opportune time as the sector heads towards recovery, and our recent travel sentiment survey revealing confidence for the future. We are using English Tourism Week as a chance to drive more domestic tourism, engage stakeholders and highlight the work NGI are doing, and will continue to do to support the sector to bounce back. This your opportunity to show you are here for tourism and to support our resilient and innovative tourism businesses.

“The North East is full of people who are passionate about the place they call home and by working together we will attract more and more people to live, work, study and invest in Newcastle and Gateshead.”

Tourism is the fourth largest sector in the North East and is England’s third largest employer. It is worth almost £5bn to the North East economy every year and supports more than 63,000 jobs in the region.

To find out more about you can support tourism during English Tourism Week, visit or follow @NGInitiative