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Council targets 6% growth in tourism

Holy Island is one of Northumberland's biggest tourist attractions

Holy Island is one of Northumberland's biggest tourist attractions

An ambitious target of a six per cent growth in tourism by 2016 has been outlined by Northumberland County Council.

Tourism already makes up 11.8 per cent of the county’s economy and is worth £707m per year but achieving the new target would create a further £42m and 795 extra jobs.

The target has been endorsed by other organisations such as the national park, Arch and English Heritage as well as tourism associations, attractions and businesses.

Key goals for achieving the six per cent target include encouraging more visits, especially longer ones and extending the visitor season outside the traditional summer period.

The popularity of the ITV series ‘Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green’ has helped to put the county on the map nationally.

The programme rights have also been acquired for Australia and New Zealand.

A new marketing campaign, ‘Northumberland’s Active Spirit’ will start in January co-ordinated by Northumberland Tourism.

The campaign, which will focus on outdoor activities, experiences and adventure from walking to mountain biking, will drive audiences to the Visit Northumberland website.

Paul Nichol, the council’s tourism and visitor economy manager, said: “Northumberland is still viewed as a seasonal destination by many visitors and by a significant element of the tourism industry.

“The council needs to continue to work with partners to market the county as a year-round destination, and to develop the tourism offer accordingly.”

The council admits it needs to work with partners to encourage the development of more wet weather facilities.

It also wants to improve the welcome at gateways to the county, such as the A1 Scottish border at Lamberton by putting better interpretation panels in.

 

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