North East Connected


SUNDERLAND people can give the gift of an overnight stay, after one of the city’s newest hotels joined its hugely successful gift card scheme.

More than 190 businesses have signed up to the Sunderland Gift Card scheme since it was launched by Sunderland BID in 2020.

And now Holiday Inn Sunderland, at the city’s Keel Square, has joined them, in time for the busiest gift buying period of the year.

Since it was launched more than £150,000 worth of gift cards have been sold providing a huge boost to the local economy, with buyers able to purchase them online, as a digital gift card, an e-voucher or in person at sales points across the city and beyond

The gift vouchers can then be redeemed at any participating retailer, business or leisure outlet – making them an ideal Christmas gift for those of all ages, as well as  a corporate reward for staff or as a thank you to clients.

Rob Dixon, general manager at Holiday Inn Sunderland said the hotel was delighted to have joined the scheme.

“There are so many reasons for people to come to Sunderland and it made total sense for us to be part of the Sunderland Gift Card,” he said.

“It’s a great way for someone to gift a stay to a relative or friend or for companies and organisations to give out as a reward.

“We are very excited to be taking part and we look forward to welcoming the lucky recipients.”

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, welcomed Holiday Inn Sunderland’s decision to join the scheme and said it was “testament to its popularity.

“The gift cards open up virtually the whole city to anyone lucky enough to be given one,” she said.

“And not only can they be spent in a whole variety of ways but of course the added bonus is that cardholders are supporting businesses across Sunderland.

“And, with Christmas fast approaching, Holiday Inn Sunderland couldn’t have joined at a better time.”

Gift cards can be purchased via or at physical sales points including the Bridges, Museum and Winter Gardens, National Glass Centre and Houghton and Washington libraries.

The gift card can be purchased as a digital download which can be delivered directly to the recipient’s device wallet.

Any businesses wanting to join the scheme, please email

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