Last week saw the country celebrating English Tourism week, arguably the most exciting week in the English tourism calendar. What a success it was for us here in Northumberland. An incredible opportunity to shout about the many hidden gems we have as a county - from our rolling countryside to our magnificent coastlines, our castles and our heritage assets and our vibrant towns and villages, the history and the unique and evolving contemporary culture that lies around every corner. Northumberland has it all.
Tourism contributes hugely to our economy. It’s good for business, good for jobs and good for our local communities and the people who live there. In 2017 tourism contributed over £924 million to the Northumberland economy, with over 10 million visitors to the county and 15,000 people employed in tourism related jobs. The figures grow year on year and are testament to the hard work, enthusiasm and sterling efforts of our many tourism businesses, attractions, accommodation providers, shops restaurants and cafes. Northumberland winning gold in the Best UK County / Holiday Destination of the Year in the 2018 British Travel Awards proved that very point!
Here within the Conservative administration at Northumberland County Council we are committed to developing tourism in Northumberland strategically and sustainably and it is a key priority for us. We are determined to build on our county’s excellent credentials as a destination of choice - regionally, nationally and internationally. As always however, there is much work to do. At a national level, we continue to talk directly to Government through Ministers, and officials at Visit Britain and Visit England, to feed directly in to discussions on the Industrial Strategy and the emerging tourism related sector deal. Tourism is also a key feature of our work with the newly created North of Tyne Combined Authority and the emerging Borderlands Growth Deal. Both recognise our county as an area of further potential. More locally we continue to work with partners such as the Northumberland National Park who are currently active in promoting the English national parks to an international audience https://nationalparks.uk/discoverengland and Newcastle International Airport who have recently launched their inbound tourism website http://www.visitnortheastengland.com/ . Our partners are many and varied but are united in a common vision to keep the tourism offer in Northumberland fresh and vibrant but viable and sustainable at the same time. We want people to visit Northumberland, like what they see, stay longer, spend more and keep on coming back. We want that Gold travel award back in 2019!
That means our Conservative administration continuing to promote all that is fantastic about our county and we do that wholeheartedly with unequivocal belief, enthusiasm and aspiration. If you haven’t already signed up to https://www.discoverourland.co.uk do so now. One of the greatest strengths we have in our county is the people who live here. Passionate people like yourselves, who love where they live and enjoy what they do. Have a look at some of our people who have told us their stories already. Enjoy the winning results of our recent photography competition which were used nationally and internationally to showcase our beautiful county during English Tourism Week. Get involved and sign up to be an ambassador. Follow us on Facebook Discover Northumberland, Twitter @discovernland and instagram discovernland. And the next story? This may well be yours.