Tourism fairs help businesses gear up for start of a new season

A previous tourism fair.
A previous tourism fair.

A full house of exhibitors is expected at events to promote Northumberland.

After striking gold in the 2018 British Travel Awards as the Best UK Holiday Destination, the county’s tourism industry is looking forward to 2019 with renewed confidence.

Final preparations are now being made for the annual tourism fairs in Alnwick and Hexham, which give hospitality providers from around the county and the Borders the chance to stock up on information about the area to give to their guests.

The Alnwick Tourism Fair will take place on Tuesday, March 19, at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre, serving north Northumberland and the Borders, followed by the Hexham Tourism Fair at Hexham Mart on Thursday, March 21, serving the heart of Northumberland and the Tyne Valley. Both are being supported by Northumberland County Council.

David Taylor, from Alnwick Tourism Association, said: “The Alnwick Tourism Fair is always a vibrant affair, packed with exhibitors, regional event organisers and local attractions. It heralds the beginning of a new season for many of our members.

“Northumberland deserves its position as the top-rated holiday destination in the country. We will be working hard to keep that top spot in 2019. I am looking forward to finding out more about what local attractions and events will be on offer in 2019.”

Harvest Harris-Jones, from North Northumberland Tourism Association, added: “The figures for the number of visitors to the county are continuing to rise and it’s clear that accommodation providers are continuing to invest to meet the growing demand.

“We can take pride in tourism as a growing industry within Northumberland. But we also need the right strategic investment, and hopefully the council’s new Discover Northumberland initiative demonstrates commitment to that too. There will be plenty to talk about when we gather for the tourism fairs.”

Hospitality providers and members of the public are welcome to the events, which will take place from 10am to 2.30pm. Refreshments provided by Alnwick’s Olive Branch café will be available throughout the day and admission is free.

Philip Angier, of event organiser Local Living, said: “The Tourism Fairs are a don’t miss date in the calendar for accommodation providers to collect information about local attractions for their guests.

”Last year the Alnwick event was once again fully subscribed. It’s a popular networking day for exhibitors and a great way for local people to find out about festivals and events and family days out in 2019.”