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Hadrian’s Wall tourism venture builds strong foundations for future

Other posts by  |  Steve Smith on Google+ |  October 17, 2011 | 0 Comments

Young Romans being put through their paces at Once Brewed Visitor Centre near the Wall © Northumberland National Park

More than 130 tourism businesses have so far signed up to the new Hadrian AD2022 marketing venture.

The scheme takes its name from the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall which is due to be celebrated in 2022 and aims to promote not just member businesses operating along its length but contribute towards the conservation and protection of the World Heritage Site.

It is being run by Hadrian’s Wall Heritage, the not for profit company which coordinates the management and development of the area around what was once Rome’s northern most manmade frontier stretching from Wallsend on the east coast to the Solway Firth on the west.

Linda Tuttiett, chief executive of Hadrian’s Wall Heritage, said: “We’re delighted to have so many businesses on board already.

“Hadrian’s Wall will celebrate its 1900th anniversary in 2022 and over the next 10 years we aim to continue with our ambitious plans to deliver an investment programme to create the largest, most compelling visitor and learning destination in Europe right across the World Heritage Site.”

In 2010 3.5 million visitors stayed in Hadrian’s Wall Country, putting £880m into the local economy.

Three of the businesses who have joined Hadrian AD2022 are Euro Hostel, Tantallon House B&B and West House Farm Cottages.

Euro Hostel is in Newcastle city centre and opened in March this year. The hostel is aimed at visitors on a budget with a range of rooms to accommodate from one to 10 people.

William McClelland, managing director of Euro Hostel, said: “Hadrian’s Wall is one of the top ranking ‘must-see’ attractions for visitors to the north of England and we’re keen to support Hadrian AD2022.

“The scheme boosts awareness of Euro Hostel with visitors, including walkers and cyclists, and means we are directly associated with the World Heritage Site which runs through Newcastle.”

William McClelland of EuroHostel in Newcastle

Award winning Tantallon House Bed and Breakfast – a Visit England 4* Silver Award property – is in Gilsland on the border of Cumbria and Northumberland, and overlooks the longest unbroken stretch of Hadrian’s Wall. There is also a self-catering cottage.

Owner Roger Ashman commented: “We support Hadrian AD2022 because we need the big impact of marketing the whole of Hadrian’s Wall Country to raise awareness of the area nationally and internationally.  We think it’s important to contribute to that work as it benefits everyone involved in tourism in the area.”

West House Farm self-catering cottages near Maryport are ideal for visiting the sites that were once the Roman frontier defences on the Cumbrian coast as well as the western end of Hadrian’s Wall. There are two Visit England 5* Gold Award barn conversions and a 4* cottage.

Susan Harper, owner of West House Farm Cottages, added: “Being part of Hadrian AD2022 is important for us because it connects us to Hadrian’s Wall and gives us more exposure. After a busy day exploring all that the area has to offer we find that visitors don’t mind travelling a little further to return to their holiday cottage when they can be sure of a warm welcome and a luxurious place to stay.

“I’m personally interested in Roman history so it’s great to be involved in looking after the World Heritage Site too.”

Hadrian’s Wall draws millions of visitors every year. Research has shown there is still room for growth and estimates that with continued investment visitor spend can be increased by another £300m per year by 2029 – taking the potential economic impact to over £1bn per annum and creating over 6,000 new jobs.

The AD2022 programme provides businesses with direct exposure to all Hadrian’s Wall Country marketing campaign activity. A range of business development tools are available including access to familiarisation and networking opportunities, and goods and services to enable income generation.

Hadrian’s Wall Country marketing activity for 2012 will focus on the domestic, international and travel industry, and previous work has encouraged people to stay for longer holidays, to take more short breaks, and to make more day visits to the area outside of the summer season.

Linda Tuttiett, chief executive of Hadrian's Wall Heritage

“We’ve designed the programme after significant consultation with the businesses who are most likely to gain direct benefit, such as accommodation providers, visitor attractions, pubs and restaurants, cafés, activity operators, cycle hire, tourist guides, baggage handlers and
transport providers,” continued Linda Tuttiett.

“We know they are looking for something that’s simple and transparent and offers value for money, and we’re confident that together we can have a very strong presence in a very competitive market.”

Hadrian’s Wall Country marketing activities generated over 1.2 million enquiries in 2010.
By the end of this year one million visitors will have been to the Roman sites. Guest accommodation occupancy has risen by 17% over three consecutive years.

Hadrian’s Wall Country stretches 150 miles from Ravenglass north through Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Bowness, then 10 miles either side of the line through Carlisle, Hexham and Newcastle to Wallsend and South Shields.

Participation in Hadrian AD2022 includes an entry in the Hadrian’s Wall Country Holiday and Short Breaks Guide which underpins much of the consumer facing marketing activity. It is distributed in response to all online and telephone enquiries received via the Hadrian’s Wall Information Line, and through a strategic distribution approach.

A full range of online opportunities remain available.  For more information on Hadrian AD2022 and how you can still be involved call 01434 609700 and ask for Julie Sloan or Tom Boden or email hadrianAD2022@hadrians-wall.org

DID YOU KNOW?

Hadrian’s Wall Country is home to:

  • Britain’s most significant archaeological find and the oldest known example of
    handwriting in Britain, the Vindolanda Writing Tablets, at Roman Vindolanda and a 3D
    ‘Eagles Eye’ view of the Roman frontier at the Roman Army Museum, both reopened
    in March following a £6 million redevelopment
  •  Magnificent English Heritage excavated forts at Corbridge, Chesters, Housesteads
    and Birdoswald
  • Fully reconstructed quarters at Arbeia Roman Fort at South Shields and a
    reconstructed bathhouse at Segedunum Roman Fort at Wallsend, both part of Tyne and
    Wear Archives and Museums
  • Britain’s most important collection of Roman Altar stones at Maryport’s Senhouse
    Roman Museum
  • A major new Roman Frontier gallery at Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum & Art
    Gallery complementing Newcastle’s Great North Museum as gateways to the heart of
    Hadrian’s Wall Country.

Comitatus Roman Cavalry at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields © Tyne and Wear Museums

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