NewcastleGateshead Initiative launches new campaign to kickstart North East's tourism industry

Josh Peachey's picture

A new campaign has launched to support the North East’s £5bn tourism economy, in line with the start of the Government’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme.

The ‘My Kind of Toon’ campaign, from NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), encourages residents in the North East to support the region’s tourism and hospitality businesses.

The campaign is to include customer-generated content to raise the profile of tourism businesses and inspire residents to visit new places. 

A newly redesigned visitor information website, newcastlegateshead.com, has also just been launched to help promote the region. Residents and visitors can design their own ‘My Kind of Toon’ with a new itinerary builder allowing them to plan days out to suit their needs.

Ian Thomas, Director of Leisure Tourism and Research at NGI, added: “We’re encouraging residents to become advocates of our amazing local businesses – share their reviews, images and videos online and offer reassurance that everyone will enjoy a safe visitor experience.”

Residents are also being encouraged to look out for the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry scheme which should give them confidence that a business is adhering to the latest Government advice.

Councillor Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, said: “As more people are choosing not to travel abroad or far afield this year, we’re encouraging locals to make the most of the North East. Our local businesses are getting used to a new way of operating and now, more than ever, need the support of the local community.

Many hospitality and tourism businesses opened their doors for the first time in months on 4 July but with reduced capacities due to guidelines in place, the industry is far from back to normal.

Besides the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ initiative, the Government has also announced a temporary VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sector and a support package for the cultural sector.