Tourism group drops 'The Secret Kingdom' as slogan for North Northumberland as it outlines new plans

A tourism group has admitted that Northumberland can no longer be marketed as ‘The Secret Kingdom’.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 11:33 pm
Bamburgh beach at Easter 2019.
Picture by Jane Coltman
Bamburgh beach at Easter 2019. Picture by Jane Coltman

The strapline has been used as a branding tool by the North Northumberland Tourism Association (NNTA) for more than 20 years.

However, the growth in Northumberland’s tourism business in that time – especially in coastal communities such as Bamburgh, Seahouses and Holy Island – has forced the committee to acknowledge that a new marketing strategy is needed.

Harvest Harris-Jones, NNTA chairman, said: “Northumberland used to be a secret but I really feel that the secret is now out and it’s time for us to be singing those praises in a careful way.”

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North Northumberland Tourism Association committee members and president, Lord Joicey.

The new strapline is ‘Dream, Explore, Discover’.

“To me, that is perfect,” said Mrs Harris-Jones. “We have people perhaps on their computers dreaming about coming to Northumberland, they are coming to explore it and they are going to discover it.”

The NNTA is working on new branding with Newcastle College.

A strategic review has been carried out, a vision statement developed and its objectives and values set out.

Mrs Harris-Jones said: “Our vision is to support our members to sustainably grow tourism in north Northumberland by providing a quality visitor experience.

“Our mission is to be an independent voice, providing resources for members whilst helping visitors experience the best of the region.”

Lord Joicey, NNTA president, anticipated Northumberland would remain an attractive proposition to holidaymakers in the year ahead, especially from abroad.

“The pound is still down and is therefore very attractive to foreign visitors,” he said. “Certainly at Ford and Etal we have seen a lot of them so that is good news.”

Over the next year the NNTA will continue to build its social media presence. It also publishes a bi-monthly newsletter.

“We need to have a strong voice for tourism in Northumberland,” said Mrs Harris-Jones at the group’s AGM in Wooler’s Cheviot Centre.

“We really need to work on connectivity, all working together collaboratively. With the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Northumberland National Park and Northumberland County Council we have influence and are part of strategic decisions being made in relation to tourism.”

Business support training, familiarisation visits and social events are also planned.