NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), a public and private partnership that works to attract investment and tourism into the area, has launched a new campaign promoting domestic breaks to the city following the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating impact on the sector.
The ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign, which launched yesterday (May 24) during English Tourism Week, aims to inspire both families and those aged 18-34 to choose NewcastleGateshead for their next mini-break this summer season.
The £75k campaign is supported by national tourism agency VisitEngland’s ‘Escape the Everyday’ Destination Management Organisations’ Recovery Marketing Fund and involves extensive digital, social and digital radio advertising, focused on audiences in Yorkshire and the North West of England.
The fund will give a huge boost to the region’s tourism industry which has been dramatically affected by the pandemic – research shows that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, NewcastleGateshead has seen tourism revenues fall by £1.3bn, with a 60% drop in visitors, losing out on a total of 1.3m bed-nights.
The campaign highlights the unique range of experiences and activities on offer in our region, promoting products that visitors can book now on NewcastleGateshead.com – including cultural and heritage attractions, walking tours, restaurants and accommodation.
Sarah Green, chief executive of NGI, said: “Escape the Everyday will help our destination’s hospitality and tourism sector at a time that it needs it the most. Encouraging city breaks brings in much needed visitor traffic to our businesses, reviving the sector and supporting recovery. We’ve seen our streets come back to life in recent weeks with the return of outdoor and indoor hospitality, and we look forward to the return of a vibrant city centre.
“We were delighted to be successful in bidding for this fund from VisitEngland, at a time when people are looking to UK breaks as a priority, offering us an audience with a high propensity to travel. We have so much on our doorstep here in NewcastleGateshead, with history, culture, an exciting food and drink scene and many hidden gems – offering up an opportunity for visitors to escape from their everyday lives and experience a fantastic city break in the North East.”
Andrew Stokes, director of VisitEngland, said: “Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism right across the country and the industry needs all of us to make sure it gets back on its feet. It is great to see the activity that NewcastleGateshead Initiative will be delivering locally, with support from VisitEngland funding and aligning with our national ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign, to encourage more people to get out and discover the outstanding destinations and quality attractions here on our doorstep and to drive bookings.
“It will also support local businesses who have been working so hard to welcome visitors back safely, adapting and innovating to meet new ways of working and still providing a great visitor experience.”
Newcastle Castle is one of the attractions, bookable on NewcastleGateshead.com, that feature as part of the campaign. Its chief executive officer, Ben Smith, said: “We are really excited to be a part of the Escape the Everyday campaign. At a time when we have just reopened following a long closure, this gives us the great opportunity to get a boost in advance bookings for the Castle, aiding our recovery.
“As the fortress that gave the city its name, and yet often still unknown to visitors, it’s fantastic to encourage people to come along and uncover the Castle’s extensive history.”
North East businesses and residents are encouraged to back the campaign by sharing the campaign video on social media along with #EscapeTheEveryday as well as sharing the campaign’s website where visitors can discover more and plan their next UK break: www.NewcastleGateshead.com/escape.