Local businesses become tourists for the day on an exclusive trip around NewcastleGateshead

Local businesses become tourists for the day on an exclusive trip around NewcastleGateshead

In celebration of English Tourism Week (25 March-02 April), a host of local businesses from the tourism industry enjoyed a special NewcastleGateshead highlights tour on Friday (31 March) to broaden their knowledge and get under the skin of what makes the destination so special.

The tour was delivered by the Newcastle City Guides to coincide with the launch of their 2017 season of City Tours, which features walks exploring everything from city street names and industrial heritage to women’s rights, the Reformation, and the history of Newcastle’s pubs.

A group of trained, knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers, the Newcastle City Guides provide interesting and informative walks on the history and heritage of Tyneside.

Employees from tourism businesses across the destination – including Live Theatre, Tyneside Cinema and Nexus – all experienced first-hand the hidden history of Newcastle’s Grainger Town, the magnificent engineering behind the Quayside Bridges and the story of the stunning cultural regeneration of Gateshead Quays.

English Tourism Week is a nationwide initiative which aims to highlight the value and importance of tourism as England’s third largest employer, supporting 2.6 million jobs and bringing £106bn a year into the economy.

Across NewcastleGateshead tourism is the fourth largest contributor to the local economy, injecting £1.4 billion annually, and attracting almost 17 million visitors each year.

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative and member of the VisitEngland Advisory Board, said: “Tourism is a real growth industry in the region and has continued to build steadily over the past decade – currently employing over 18,000 people in NewcastleGateshead alone and offering an increasing range of career opportunities.

“This is a really exciting time for tourism in the region, with the Great Exhibition of the North taking place across NewcastleGateshead in the summer of 2018. Celebrating the very best of art, culture and design in the North, the event will engage a national and international audience and will have a significant positive impact for communities, culture and tourism.

Full details on City Tours 2017 can be found at newcastlecityguides.org.uk