Visitors to Northumberland spent over £1 billion in 2019 - while '2020 is proving to be a challenging year'

New figures reveal that visitors spent over £1 billion when exploring Northumberland in 2019.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:18 pm

The annual Northumberland STEAM report on the economic impact of tourism shows that, prior to Covid-19, the county’s visitor economy was continuing to grow year on year.

The research commissioned for Northumberland Tourism by NewcastleGateshead Initiative shows the county welcomed 10.68 million visitors, a 2% increase on 2018.

Some 82% of all these visits are day visits, accounting for 35% of expenditure.

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Northumberland.

They spent a total of £1.047 billion in 2019, a 1.9% rise on 2018.

Visitor stay also grew, totalling 16.87 million days, spurred on by growth in the traditionally quieter autumn and winter following a targeted marketing programme.

David Hall, chairman of Northumberland Tourism said: “The dedication and hard work from everyone involved within Northumberland’s tourism industry creates the exceptional quality of Northumberland’s tourism offering that we are very proud of. We are delighted that this has once again driven such positive results.

“However, while the sustained growth and undoubted appeal of Northumberland as a holiday destination is welcomed, 2020 is proving to be a challenging year and the tourism sector has been hit hard.

Alnwick Garden.

"Working closely with Northumberland County Council and partners throughout the county, including local residents, the future challenge is to tackle head-on the impact caused by the Covid-19 crisis and grow tourism in a sustainable manner so that Northumberland remains a place that both our residents and visitors alike can enjoy and be proud of.”

Cllr Glen Sanderson, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, added: "These figures are really positive news for the county in a year which has been incredibly challenging for everyone involved in the tourism and hospitality industry.

"It is encouraging to see visitor numbers and visitor spend has continued to increase in 2019, and that is testament to the hard work put in by businesses and organisations striving to promote the county.

"We know that this year will be a very different picture and as the local authority we have been doing all that we can to support businesses through this difficult time.

Bamburgh.

"Tourism is a major priority for the council and we have pledged to ensure it comes back stronger than ever.”

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