NewcastleGateshead visitor welcome checklist

Providing quality visitor information and a warm welcome to your visitors will help encourage them to stay longer, spend more, recommend the city to friends and family and visit again in future. We have prepared a handy checklist of tips and resources below to help you welcome, support and signpost your guests:

1. Order supplies of Pocket Guides and Walk/Ride maps and put them on display.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative produces two key pieces of printed visitor information which are available free to tourism businesses and NGI partners:

The NewcastleGateshead Pocket Guide is a handy guide to things to see and do in and around NewcastleGateshead, including attractions, entertainment, shopping, sport, restaurants and nightlife.

The Walk/Ride map is a map of Central NewcastleGateshead, showing the major streets, landmarks and visitor attractions. Useful visitor information is included on the reverse, including maps of the Metro network and Quaylink bus routes.

The Pocket Guide is supplied in boxes of around 150. The Walk/Ride map is available in two formats; a tear-off pad of 200 maps, which is ideal for reception desks, or a folded pocket version in boxes of 600.

Remember to make it easy for your visitors to identify and pick-up the maps and guides by putting them on display in your public areas and on reception. Don’t just keep them behind the desk!

To order supplies for your business or venue, please email info@ngi.org.uk with the amount you require and we will arrange delivery free of charge within North East England.

2. Book your staff on a Welcome to NewcastleGateshead workshop.

Welcome to NewcastleGateshead is a destination awareness workshop for front-line tourism staff and anyone who plays a part in welcoming visitors. It’s a fun and interactive three-hour workshop, followed by a two-hour walking tour, and is designed to equip your staff with the tourism product knowledge they need to be able to best advise your guests.

Open workshops are available throughout the year and cost only £50 + VAT per person for NGI partners (£80 + VAT for non-partners). Please check here for the latest course availability and to book online. Group or bespoke welcome training packages can also be arranged to suit your requirements. Please email info@ngi.org.uk for more information.

3. Provide a visitor information or delegate welcome service for your major events.

Create a good first impression for your event or conference with our pop-up visitor information and delegate welcome services.

If you are hosting a major event or conference, please get in touch with the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau on +44 (0)191 440 5757 or email conventionbureau@ngi.org.uk  to see how we can support.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative can provide welcome desks at destination gateways, including Newcastle Central Station, at your delegate/guest accommodation or at the event or conference venue.  Welcome materials and signage can be branded with your own event colours and logo, so they are easily recognisable (Charges apply for signage and branding).

Student ambassadors from local colleges will be on hand to welcome and direct your guests, and to provide visitor information, including Pocket Guides and maps. As it’s may be your guests’ first time in NewcastleGateshead, this personal welcome provides them with the information they need to make the most of their time in the city and have the best possible experience. A visitor information desk can also be delivered at the event or conference venue, provided by knowledgeable and experience visitor information staff.

4. Host a Visitor Information Point

If you welcome a large number of visitors and want to improve visitor information at your venue, you may be eligible to host a free NewcastleGateshead Visitor Information Point.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative has established a network of visitor information points at key locations of high visitor footfall throughout the destination, including hotels, shopping centres and visitor attractions. The stands provide a consistent look and feel, featuring destination branding and visitor information logos, so that they are easily-identifiable to visitors.

The points are regularly stocked with free literature, including Pocket Guides, Walk/Ride maps and a range of local and regional attraction literature. Our partnership with A-ha! Distribution ensures that the literature is replenished and kept up-to-date, so there is no extra work involved for your staff.

The stands are designed to complement your visitor areas and add value to the service you provide at no extra cost or staff time.

If you are interested in hosting a Visitor Information Point, please email info@ngi.org.uk.

5. Equip your staff with FAQs and reference materials.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative have prepared a list of frequently asked questions you can share with your staff, so they are better-placed to help visitors. The FAQ list includes everything from ‘Where can I find left luggage facilities’ to ‘What time are the shops open until’ and is regularly updated with the latest information. The list of questions is not comprehensive however and your staff are bound to get more specific questions which relate to the local area around your business. It is therefore useful to prepare an FAQ list specific to your business and to circulate this to your front-line staff, including advice on the following:

  • The nearest cash point.
  • The nearest grocery shop / post office / pharmacy / NHS walk-in centre.
  • The nearest Metro Station or bus stop.
  • Nearby gyms or swimming pools (If not provided by your business).
  • Reputable and reliable local taxi companies.
6. Offer the latest ‘What’s on’ information.

Encourage your staff to keep up to date with all the latest ‘what’s on’ events information, so they are able to better signpost visitors and ensure they make the most of their stay. They can do this by:

7. Make it easy for your visitors to access information online.

If you offer free Wi-Fi, is this made obvious to your visitors? It is important to provide reliable Wi-Fi for visitors, especially those from overseas. This helps them to access the visitor information, maps and other services they need to make the most of their stay. It also makes it easier for them to share photos, experiences and recommendations on social media, which help to promote the destination and encourage their friends and family to visit.

8. Review your signage and visibility.

Is it easy for visitors to find your business? Do the local signposts direct your visitors to the right place? Are you included in local directories and are your neighbouring businesses aware of who you are and what services you provide? Is the signage on the outside of your building prominent? And once visitors are inside, is it easy for them to identify where things are? Is the reception desk obvious and are there signs to the toilets, baby changing, meeting rooms, restaurant and other facilities? It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and review how easy it is for them to find what they are looking for, to ensure they get the best, hassle-free visitor experience.