‘More say when we are all united on tourism’

Members of the North Northumberland Tourism Association (NNTA) are calling on other businesses to join with them, in order to strengthen the industry’s voice locally.

Around 80 members gathered in Wooler for the AGM recently, and discussed both the challenges and successes in the region over recent years.

Chairman Jeff Sutheran said: “Since OneNorthEast was abolished, we’ve seen how vitally important the role of tourism associations has been in helping to shape the new and very encouraging arrangements which have emerged.

“We now have a new destination management organisation in place, and millions of pounds have been obtained for the strategic marketing and promotion of Northumberland.

“There’s no doubt we’ve snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but there’s still plenty of hard work to be done.

“No single business acting alone could have had such influence, but together we’re stronger, and have been able to set the agenda for the next phase.

“This is the message we want to send out to local tourism businesses which are not yet members of NNTA. We’ve seen real-world influence being brought to bear on behalf of the whole industry, and the more members we have, the more clout we can exert.”

The meeting also shared ideas about making the most of several very special opportunities this year.

President Lord Joicey said: “I can’t think of any other time when north Northumberland has had such opportunity to raise our profile to visitors.

“We have several important events coming together, including the impetus of the Lindisfarne Gospels at Durham, which is set to generate enormous numbers of visitors to our area.

“And of course, we have the immensely-important Flodden 500 commemoration, which is also generating much publicity nationally. We need to work together as small tourism businesses, in order that we can all make the most of these great opportunities.”