International trade visits help put Northumberland on the tourism map

Visit Northumberland has welcomed over 100 international travel buyers and journalists so far this year with more opportunities in the pipeline.
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The educational visits have involved a mixture of itineraries in partnership with Visit Britain, NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Visit County Durham to showcase the North East to international markets.

Boasting a diverse offering of city, countryside, history and outdoor pursuits, the North East is an ideal and somewhat undiscovered area for international buyers and press.

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Buyers and media from 18 international markets have visited Northumberland including from the USA, the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor market, as well as from Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Denmark.

Travel trade visitors at The Alnwick Garden. Picture: Visit NorthumberlandTravel trade visitors at The Alnwick Garden. Picture: Visit Northumberland
Travel trade visitors at The Alnwick Garden. Picture: Visit Northumberland

This has included a mixture of travel buyers, journalists and influencers covering some of Northumberland’s key attractions, experiences and accommodation.

The recent international trade visits are helping to strengthen Northumberland’s position as one of the leading tourism destinations, a key area identified in the county’s Destination Management Plan.

The visits come ahead of the launch of a dedicated travel trade product development and promotional campaign, identified as a priority action within the plan.

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Andrew Fox, chair of Visit Northumberland, said: “We are delighted to be showcasing Northumberland’s outstanding offering as part of the wider, North East visitor experience to international buyers and travel press, highlighting the very best experiences and attractions in Northumberland to give a taste of what the region is all about within a short time frame.

“From the beauty of the Northumberland and County Durham coast and countryside to the vibrancy of Newcastle and Durham city centre, buyers will experience the quality of our tourism offer alongside our famous North East welcome.”

The visits are part of Visit Britain’s national tourism strategy and VisitBritain’s in-country teams have worked in partnership with Visit Northumberland, amongst other destination management organisations and destination management companies across England, Scotland and Wales, to develop tailored itineraries for each inbound market.

The activity commenced after the North East was chosen to deliver the first ever Destination Development Partnership (DDP) pilot in England, which is led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) in partnership with Visit Northumberland and Visit County Durham and all seven local authorities.

VisitBritain’s latest inbound tourism forecast predicts 39.5 million inbound visits to the UK in 2024.