• Tue. May 28th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

National campaign provides major tourism boost

203A national tourism campaign promoting County Durham has so far brought an extra £13.1m into the local economy.

A final evaluation of the initiative is due later this year but initial figures, contained in a report that will be presented to Durham County Council’s Cabinet next week, also indicate that it helped to create or support 245 jobs in the county.

The campaign, which took place between September 2012 and October 2014, was funded by £450,000 from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) administered by VisitEngland, and was match-funded to the tune of £210,000 by Durham tourism operators and local partners.

The report, put together by members of the authority’s Economy and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee, reviews the work of Visit County Durham in marketing the area and emphasises the importance of promoting the county as a visitor destination.

Cllr Rob Crute, Chair of the Economy and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “County Durham is on a journey to becoming a ‘destination of distinction’ with major events such as the Lindisfarne Gospels Exhibition attracting 100,000 visitors and Lumiere attracting 175,000 visitors in 2013.

“Events like these help to keep County Durham firmly on the cultural map and allow us to compete with well-established destinations.

“It is important, therefore, that we continue to make tourism a priority and ensure that we are doing all we can to attract visitors from around the country.”

The report also makes recommendations as to how Visit County Durham can build on its achievements in the future.

The organisation is encouraged to further extend its work with partners and to continue to use major events to attract visitors from outside the region.

The report recommends that Visit County Durham continues to look for opportunities to promote the county on a national level.

It is also encouraged to use the Northern Tourism Growth Fund to publicise the county to overseas markets and to champion the importance of the visitor economy to the North East Combined Authority.

An update on progress made against the recommendations will be considered by the Economy and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee in about six months.

By admin