The work, which is being led by Northumberland County Council and key tourism partners, aims to develop a new approach for tourism delivery in the county. It is designed to grow Northumberland’s visitor economy through co-ordinating all partners and making the most of available funding and resources.
Currently tourism in Northumberland is delivered by a variety of partners, but with the forthcoming closure of One North East in March 2012, funding has been reduced significantly.
This means there is a need to establish new and clear ways of delivering services in support of tourism and the wider visitor economy in Northumberland.
To support the review, Northumberland County Council has funded a piece of work which has looked at how other destinations are responding to the changes. It considered how best to help tourism generate the greatest economic impact for Northumberland’s visitor economy.
Councillor Neil Bradbury, executive member for Customer Relations and Culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “Tourism is critical to Northumberland’s economy. We are continuing to support our local tourism businesses and are turning the challenge of much reduced funding into an opportunity to put the local tourism industry in the driving seat.
“As a Council, we plan to protect our investment in tourism, despite the financial challenges we are facing, as we see tourism as an important part of our economic growth plans.”
Consultation and discussions with the tourism industry have taken place with tourism associations and organisations inputting their views and recommendations at workshop sessions and meetings during December. Since the consultation began, many tourism organisations have come forward to help the industry work together to develop more detailed plans.
After a number of potential models were considered in detail the review recommends setting up a new partnership. A small core team would work alongside key tourism partners to deliver marketing, product development and business engagement. This proposal, which is currently being tested with partners, would see tourism organisations coming together to add support through investment or in-kind assistance.
Consultation is continuing on the detail of the proposals with new arrangements set to be in place by April 1, 2012.
Category: Industry news