North East England Tourism Strategy by riz74952

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									North East England
Tourism Strategy
2005-2010




               final report
                                       Contents



                                             Preface
                                             John Sands

                                       A     Vision and Strategy
                                       A1.   Why we need a Strategy
                                       A2.   The Purpose of the Strategy
                                       A3.   Our Objectives

                                       B     Assets and Challenges
                                       B1.   Rural and Coastal Areas: Assets and Challenges
                                       B2.   Cities and Large Towns: Assets and Challenges

                                       C     Our Markets
                                       C1.   Domestic Visitors
                                       C2.   Business Visitors
                                       C3.   Overseas Visitors

                                       D     Tourism Roles & Responsibilities
                                       D1.   Delivery Structures
                                       D2.   Guiding Principles for Public Sector Investment

                                       E     Our Strategy
                                       E1.   Tourism Marketing
                                       E2.   Information provision and Visitor Services
                                       E3.   Activities, Attractions and Experiences
Note: In describing the economic       E4.   Accommodation
potential which tourism offers the     E5.   Business and Workforce Development
North East, some of those              E6.   Integrated Transport Infrastructure
destinations and activities which      E7.   Planning and the Environment
may be of interest to visitors have
been mentioned in this strategy        F     Monitoring & Evaluation
document. These are not intended
to comprise an exhaustive list of      G     Summary of Actions
all those destinations and             G1.   Tourism Marketing
activities that tourists may wish to   G2.   Information and Visitor Services
visit or participate in - and should   G3.   Activities, Attractions and Experiences
not be read as such.                   G4.   Accommodation
                                       G5.   Business and Workforce Development
                                       G6.   Integrated Transport and Infrastructure
                                       G7.   Planning and the Environment

                                             Annex One: North East Tourism Advisory Board: Terms of Reference
                                             Annex Two: Investment Impact Assessment: Guidelines
Preface                                                                                      North East
Last May, the Interim Regional Tourism Forum published a
                                                                                       Tourism Strategy
Consultation Draft of the North East Tourism Strategy.

Through the summer, several hundred stakeholders across the region offered
comments. Most were extremely positive; all were constructive. In this Final
Draft, we have sought to take account of these.

In September, the North East Tourism Advisory Board was established; it
replaces the Interim Forum. The Members of the Board are set out below. Our
first task is to publish this Strategy.

This report sets out the key principles that comprise the Strategy. Based on the
exceptionally valuable work of the Forum, it appears that there is now a strong
agreement around these principles across the North East. The Strategy covers
the period 2005-2010 with a major review in 2008. Regional and Area Tourism
Partnership Action Plans will also be developed.

There are important changes now underway in the organisational
responsibilities for tourism in the region. One NorthEast is working with key
stakeholders to define the most appropriate partnership structures to meet the
needs of visitors and businesses in the region. In due course, One NorthEast
will make proposals to the region’s private companies and public agencies to
consider.

One NorthEast plans to continue to invest, substantially, in the region’s tourism
assets between now and 2011. Some of this investment will be directly from
One NorthEast; some will be from the four Sub-Regional Partnerships. The
private sector, and other public bodies, will invest considerably more over the
same period. The challenge that we face is to ensure that the region gains the          Membership of the interim Regional
maximum benefits - economic, social, and environmental - from these investments.            Tourism Forum January 2005

                                                                                                             Hugh Becker
Many individuals and organisations have contributed to the preparation of the
                                                                                                                 Lucy Bird
Strategy. We owe a particular debt to the members of the Interim Forum under the
                                                                                                          Carole Ann Field
Chairmanship of Tim Cantle-Jones. Business leaders across the region, along with
                                                                                                            Ged Fitzgerald
officers drawn from the four sub-regions, the Countryside Agency, the former Tourist
                                                                                                              Miriam Hart
Board and One NorthEast all made distinctive contributions. Thank you.
                                                                                                           Geoff Hodgson
                                                                                                          Barbara Huddart
Implementation of the Strategy is now underway by a wide range of organisations.
                                                                                                             Kevan Jones
The Strategy highlights, whenever possible, lead responsibilities. However, the
                                                                                                                Barry Keel
responsibilities for much of the detail of action will emerge as the new delivery
                                                                                                               Hugh Lang
structures for Tourism are implemented and regional and Area Tourism Partnership
                                                                                                             Jamie Martin
Action Plans are established.
                                                                                                          Jocelyn Maxfield
                                                                                                               Bill Oldfield
On behalf of the North East Tourism Advisory Board, I urge you carefully to consider
                                                                                                            Maggie Pavlou
the main proposals. Please come back to us, at any time, with your thoughts on how
                                                                                                          Sue Underwood
we can work together to strengthen the North East’s tourism offer.




John Sands
Chair, North East Tourism Advisory Board




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                                           A Our Vision and Strategy

        We have a simple vision                A1. Why we need a                              By doing this we will help to contribute
                                               Strategy                                       to making the UK tourism industry worth
                                                                                              at least £100 billion per annum by 2010.
     “The North East of England will           Tourism is a key component of the              We will also ensure that our strategy
                                               region’s economy currently supporting          complements national priority work
    become a sought after destination          over 10% of jobs. Realising Our                areas on: marketing and e-tourism;
                                               Potential, the North East’s Regional           product quality; workforce skills; and
    365 days a year - for leisure and                                                         improved business data, in line with the
                                               Economic Strategy, highlights the key
    business visitors - with activities,       contribution that the tourism sector           ‘RDA Tasking Framework Guidance
                                               plays in boosting our prosperity. Given        2005-2008’.
        attractions, facilities and            the inter-relationships between the
                                               different elements of the tourism              A2. The Purpose of the
    accommodation that consistently                                                           Strategy
                                               economy in the North East (which range
      exceed visitor expectations.”            from heritage to hospitality) the only way
                                               that we will strengthen the sector is if       The North East Tourism Strategy (NETS)
                                               the private and public sectors continue        has been prepared on behalf of the
                                               to work very closely together. We need a       region by the Interim Regional Tourism
                                               strategy and action plans to guide these       Forum and the North East Tourism
                                               efforts.                                       Advisory Board. NETS covers 2005-
                                                                                              2010. In addition, a North East Tourism
                                                                                              Action Plan will be developed annually.
                                                                                              The first Summary Action Plan is
                                                                                              attached at section G. Together the
                                                                                              Strategy and the annual Action Plans will:

                                                                                              ●   Provide the starting point for closer
                                                                                                  working between the private and the
                                                                                                  public sector

                                                                                              ●   Define priorities for public action and
                                                                                                  public and private investment
                                               The growth of the North East’s tourism
                                               industry will also bring substantial social    ●   Make a clear commitment to
                                               benefits to the region. More jobs and              promoting the expansion of tourism
                                               wealth in tandem with improved regional            whilst safeguarding and enhancing
                                               pride will bring better prospects for the          our natural environment and built
                                               environment, health, employment,                   heritage
                                               education and social cohesion, resulting
                                               in a better quality of life for the resident   ●   Show how investment in tourism
                                               population of the North East.                      enhances the quality of life in the
                                                                                                  North East through creating more jobs
                                               For years we have captured less than               and improving facilities
                                               4% of tourism expenditure in Britain.
                                               This is simply not good enough. We will        The North East offers some of Britain’s
                                               focus on increasing our share of               finest landscapes, beautiful coastlines,
                                               tourism expenditure in Britain and do          two stunning world heritage sites,
                                               this in a way that increases Britain’s         exciting cities, a fascinating changing
                                               share of European tourism. We will             culture, and some of the friendliest
                                               maintain that increased market share           people in the nation. Our industrial
                                               in future, as tourism is now a                 history shows that we have the strength
                                               fundamental, permanent component of            and sense of purpose to be world
                                               the North East economy.                        leaders. With tourism supporting 10% of
                                                                                              the jobs in the North East, it is time to
                                                                                              demonstrate that strength again.
                                                                                                            3
A3. Our Objectives

We will judge our actions by the progress that we make towards achieving ten
                                                                                               North East
objectives. We will:
1. Attract more domestic and overseas tourists to the region
2. Increase visitors’ average spend and increase day visitor spend
                                                                                         Tourism Strategy
3. Increase visits throughout the year, not solely in the main holiday season
4. Increase employment in tourism, and tourism related businesses
5. Improve the productivity of the regional tourism economy
6. Accelerate the rate of investment in the tourism product
7. Improve the quality of the tourism product
8. Improve the skills of the tourism workforce
9. Improve levels of visitor satisfaction in the North East
10. Enhance and conserve the region’s natural, heritage and cultural assets

Our approach to measuring progress towards each of these objectives is set out in
Section F.

We propose the following principles to guide the efforts of the region’s public and
private sectors in meeting these objectives:

●   Through effective international and domestic marketing, in conjunction with our
    sub-regional and national tourism partners, we will develop the appeal of the
    strongest tourism experiences our region has to offer, underpinned by a new
    regional identifier brand - a key part of the Regional Image Strategy

●   We will communicate our tourism plans for the region regularly, preparing detailed
    annual regional Action Plans to support this Strategy

●   We will strengthen and integrate the region’s information and booking services
    for the benefit of visitors and the industry

●   We will develop both qualitative and quantitative research to support the delivery
    of this strategy for the benefit of the whole industry

●   We will continue to encourage the public and private sectors to work in
    partnership to expand the tourism sector in the region

●   We will continuously invest in creating a skilled workforce, as this is key to
    improving the quality of our tourism offer and assist our regional businesses in
    becoming world-class

●   We will expand our tourism industry without putting our natural environment and
    built heritage at risk and in a way that contributes positively to the sustainable
    development of the North East

●   We will work with the industry to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, race,
    culture, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation, will have equal
    opportunity to enjoy the region’s many assets. We recognise that embracing
    diversity will strengthen our tourism offer

●   We will promote excellence in the quality of the North East tourism product to
    meet the high quality of services and facilities that visitors demand

●   We recognise that tourism will play an important role in enhancing local pride,
    community cohesion and inward investment

Although this strategy relates specifically to tourism in the North East, we recognise
that tourism is an integral part of the region’s economy and that the region is not an
island. We will ensure that the measures outlined in this strategy both complement
other relevant regional and pan-regional strategies.




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                                            B Assets and Challenges
    Culture North East has a                    B1. Rural and Coastal Areas
    clear view of what makes the
    North East truly exceptional:               Our distinctive landscape - rolling hills,     Jarrow is now under consideration to
                                                heather moorlands, forests, river              become another. There are more castles
                                                                                               of distinction open to the public than in
                                                                                               any other English region and numerous
                                                                                               splendid country houses and gardens.
                                                                                               The region boasts many popular tourist
                                                                                               attractions and museums, including the
                                                                                               Alnwick Garden, Beamish, The North
                                                                                               of England Open Air Museum, The
                                                                                               Bowes Museum and Locomotion, the
                                                                                               new railway attraction at Shildon.

                                                                                               The North East is a particularly attractive
                                                                                               destination for visitors who enjoy
                                                                                               countryside activities, especially
                                                                                               walking, cycling, fishing, golf and bird
                                                                                               watching. There is a growing network of
                                                                                               long distance walking and cycling routes
                                                                                               that form the backbone to thousands of
                                                                                               miles of sign-posted public rights of
    “A set of core values and a regional        valleys, lakes and spectacular                 way. Water sports such as canoeing,
    identity that joins the people to the       coastline - is largely unspoilt and easily     sailing, surfing and diving and a plethora
    land and provide an understated             accessible from the major conurbations.        of others are popular at both coastal
    self-confidence that enables us to          The beautiful scenery, long horizons and       ports and lakes as well as on the
    cope with turbulence and change.            traffic free roads offer visitors a            region’s three major rivers: Tyne, Tees
    Despite ups and downs, the                  remarkable sense of peace and                  and Wear. Our geology, wildlife, and
    essential North East - same land,           tranquillity. Visitors cannot help but leave   strong commitment to promoting
    same people - goes on. Invention,           our rural and coastal areas feeling            biodiversity are also major draws for
    resilience, community, togetherness,        physically and emotionally refreshed.          nature-based tourism. Our extremely
    survival, strength, solidarity, and                                                        rugged landscapes are attractive for
    hard work provide the basis for an          Northumberland National Park lies              many extreme sporting activities.
    identity forged out of unique, often        entirely within the region whilst the
    perilous, circumstance. Whilst the          southern parts of Tees Valley lie within       Our market towns, villages and
    lifestyle and industrial landscape          the North York Moors National Park.            seaside resorts, with their distinctive
    have changed, these values have             The North Pennines and Northumberland          character, historic buildings and friendly
    not disappeared.”                           Coast are both designated Areas of             welcome, are significant attractions in
                                                Outstanding Natural Beauty - the               their own right. Long-established
    These values knit the North East            former having also been awarded                markets and shops selling local produce,
    together. They make the region              Geopark status. In addition, much of the       arts and crafts are a shopper’s delight,
    special and attractive to visitors.         Northumberland, Durham and Tees                with regional food specialties for true
    As a starting point for the Strategy,       Valley coast has Heritage Coast status.        epicureans ranging from Craster’s
    we must recognise these values in           No fewer than seven of the region’s            famous smoked “Kippers” to traditional
    the assets in our rural and coastal         beaches have been awarded the                  Lindisfarne Mead, ‘stottie’ bread, cheese
    areas, in our large towns and cities        coveted Blue Flag status and 15 were           and handmade ice cream.
    and in the challenges that we face          the recipients of Encam Seaside Awards
    in trying to strengthen tourism.            in 2004. Further, there are 15 National        We have music festivals that are
                                                Nature Reserves in the region and over         growing in popularity across the region,
    We also recognise that our rural,           250 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.      from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Saltburn-
    coastal and urban offers are equally                                                       by-the-Sea, encompassing folk, jazz and
    important and complementary                 UNESCO has designated Hadrian’s Wall           blues. These include Rothbury
    elements which combine to create            and the surrounding landscape as a             Traditional Music Festival, Alnwick Music
    the quintessential North East               World Heritage Site and the twin site          Festival, Stanley Blues Festival and
    experience. Linkages between them           Anglo-Saxon monastery at Wearmouth-            Billingham International Folklore Festival.
    should therefore be strengthened.
                                                                                                                                         5

                                                                                                   North East
                                                                                             Tourism Strategy
Our agricultural shows and country           ●   Better understand the nature of
fairs give confirmation of the history of        demand for accommodation to create
our region, as does the Durham Miners’           a wider range of quality
Gala and other parades, lending                  accommodation and increase bed
character and atmosphere to the visitor          space capacity, in our rural and
experience.                                      coastal areas

Our rural and coastal communities offer      ●   Encourage the development of more
an exceptionally wide range of                   accommodation, including youth
accommodation that, surveys reveal,              hostels and camp sites, along the
rate very highly with visitors. In the           national cycling and walking routes,
serviced sector, we have specific                which cross the region
strengths in our country house hotels
and our high quality bed & breakfast         ●   Support the improvement of basic
establishments. Parts of the region have         infrastructure (toilets, car parks,
a large number of holiday centres, self-         signage, paths etc) which is required
catering units, a good selection of              to enable visitors to enjoy the
touring sites, and many idyllic country          countryside and attractions
cottages. We also offer a range of
specialist hotels - the 14th century         ●   Continuously invest in refreshing and
Lumley Castle, near Chester-le-Street            updating our offer at existing
(with a resident ghost), Walworth Castle         attractions, to encourage repeat visits
Hotel, near Darlington, and Langley              and attract new audiences
Castle near Hexham to name but three.
                                             ●   Offer a wider variety of quality goods,
But in order to harness the value of the         especially local food, art, crafts,
region’s rural tourism assets, we will           books and antiques in our market
have to overcome several major                   towns
challenges. We must:
                                             ●   Encourage shops, cafes, restaurants
●   Spend our marketing resources more           and attractions to open when visitors
    effectively to make these assets more        expect them to be open, in the
    visible to visitors from elsewhere in        evenings, throughout the week and
    the UK and overseas                          throughout the year

●   Offer better booking facilities,         ●   Change the perception of the industry
    including call centre and on-line            as a career choice, provide training
    services for tourism businesses              opportunities and establish a skilled     Widening our visitor appeal requires
                                                 workforce in many rural communities       policies for enhancement, conservation,
●   Encourage tourism businesses to                                                        maintenance and development of
    work in partnership to promote           ●   Improve signage and information           environmental and cultural resources. In
    combined offers in terms of                  provision so that they are easily         addition, it requires effective visitor
    accommodation, attractions and               understandable to all, including          experience management.
    events                                       overseas visitors
                                                                                           Major improvements in public transport
●   Promote and develop existing and         Most importantly, it is vital that we         services for visitors are also required. It
    new festivals and events to develop a    recognise that the unspoilt nature of our     is particularly important to improve the
    seasonal spread of tourist interest      rural areas is essential to our long-term     links between airports, mainline rail
                                             ability to attract visitors. We must          stations, and our market towns as well
●   Explore the investment requirements      continue to protect our valued                as between major arrival gateways and
    of our country parks, gardens, country   countryside whilst attracting more            visitor destinations. Continuing to
    houses and rural museums mindful         visitors.                                     support the creation and maintenance of
    that many are in the ownership of                                                      our network of long distance walking
    others, including local authorities                                                    and cycling routes is also a priority.




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    B2. Cities and Large Towns

                                                   landscape is punctuated with the
                                                   sculptural forms of centuries-old mills
                                                   and railway bridges. The region gave
                                                   birth to the railways and this heritage is
                                                   something of which we are proud; the
                                                   Darlington Railway Centre is being
                                                   developed to appeal to railway
                                                   enthusiasts worldwide.

                                                   The region’s modern football stadia are
                                                   home to three leading clubs -
                                                   Newcastle, Sunderland, and
                                                   Middlesbrough. These attract supporters
                                                   from all over Europe. Durham County
                                                   Cricket Club, one of the most modern
                                                   facilities in the country hosts
    Our cities and large towns offer a             international test matches. The white
    diverse, exciting range of attractions and     water rafting centre at the Tees Barrage
    activities. BALTIC, Centre for                 is home to an expanding regional,
    Contemporary Art, at                           national and international programme.
    NewcastleGateshead’s Quayside has              The Great North Run is one of the most
    already acquired an international              popular half-marathon events in Europe.
    reputation. The Sage Gateshead, will
    provide one of the best music venues in        We have a range of theatres from the
    Europe. The Gateshead Millennium               Sunderland Empire to the Berwick
    Bridge and the Angel of the North have         Maltings Art Centre; all offer a diverse
    quickly become regional icons. The Life        programme of theatre, spoken word,
    Science Centre in Newcastle, and the           dance and film to satisfy all ages,
    National Glass Centre in Sunderland            interests and tastes. The Metro-Radio
    and Sunderland Museum and Winter               Arena is one of the leading venues for
    Gardens are also major attractions.            music and NewcastleGateshead’s
    Together with the Laing Art Gallery, the       vibrant nightlife appeals to visitors from
    Hancock Museum and smaller galleries           all over the North.
    and museums, Tyne and Wear cater for
    a wide range of visitor tastes.                Our towns and cities are full of young
                                                   people, many of whom are exploring
    Durham Cathedral and Castle, at the            new outlets for their creative energies.
    heart of this historic university              Cutting edge street culture has emerged
    community, is a World Heritage site. The       into the limelight with several street
    Cathedral now accommodates many                fashion and music labels originating in
    exhibitions and musical events; Bill           the North East attracting international
    Bryson calls it “the best Cathedral on         attention. Our urban landscapes are
    planet Earth.” Hartlepool Historic             becoming centres for alternative sports
    Quay, the construction of the new              such as skateboarding and roller-
    Middlesbrough Art Gallery, due to be           blading, whilst Middlesbrough is proving
    complete in 2006 are just two of the           its mettle as a centre for up-to-the-
    attractions in the south of the region.        minute game design and digital
    The gleaming, modern North East is set         technology.
    against a dramatic backdrop which
    testifies to its industrial past - the urban
                                                                                                                 7

                                                                                                    North East
                                                                                              Tourism Strategy
The Stockton International Riverside          These are some of the most valuable
Festival is one of the UK’s finest            tourism assets in our cities and large
international street festivals. The region    towns. Yet in order to take advantage of
is building on its maritime tradition,        their economic potential, we will have to
again hosting The Tall Ships Race in          overcome several important challenges.
2005 on the Tyne. With Durham Regatta,        We must:
the oldest rowing competition in
England, the Sunderland International Air     ●   Create a more distinctive retail offer in
Show and the Fire Engine and Vintage              our towns and cities, with many more
Car Rally at Preston Hall, Stockton, the          specialist, independent shops so that
variety of events across our region               retailing in the North East is truly
continues to grow. The Mela Festivals in          distinctive from that available
Newcastle and Middlesbrough and the               elsewhere
Sunderland International Festival of
Kites, Music and Dance are just some of       ●   Recognise that our heritage, including
many opportunities throughout the year            our industrial and railway heritage are
when we actively recognise and                    unique tourism assets and further
celebrate the cultural diversity which            investments will be required to realise
makes our region the vibrant place it is.         their full benefit

Some of the leading international hotel       ●   Increase the number of bedspaces in
groups have hotels in the region in most          various price ranges in our urban
price ranges and there is some evidence           areas, as demand dictates
that more are looking to invest in the
near future. Many of these hotels are         ●   Attract investment to raise the quality
popular with the business and short               of our accommodation, including
break visitors.                                   encouraging participation in national
                                                  inspection schemes, so that we meet
Last but not least, the North East’s retail       the expectations of visitors from the
offer is the envy of many other regions.          rest of the UK, Europe and further
Newcastle, Sunderland and Middles-                afield
brough all offer fantastic city centre
shopping, while out of town centres           ●   Offer a comprehensive, top quality
such as Royal Quays, the MetroCentre              events programme that animates our
Gateshead and Hartlepool Marina attract           valuable cultural and heritage
people from afar. Alongside specialty             attractions throughout the year
boutique shops, big brands and fashion
houses, Farmers’ Markets are also rising      ●   Improve signage and information
in popularity in our urban centres,               provision so that they are easily
bringing farm fresh, organic and local            understandable to all, including
produce with the flavours unique to the           overseas visitors
region, into town. Meanwhile restaurants
boasting cuisine from all over the world      ●   Strive to ensure that our cities are
offer a truly cosmopolitan dining                 welcoming and safe, and known to be
experience. And, for those who can                safe, for all ages, tastes and
handle the pace, the vibrant nightlife in         backgrounds
many of our cities means that the North
East urban experience can be a 24-hour        This is how we see our main urban, rural
a day one.                                    and coastal tourism assets today. The
                                              starting point for our Strategy and Action
                                              Plan is a better understanding of how
                                              these assets appeal to our customers
                                              now and in the future.




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                                        C Our Markets

    Analysis of North East tourism demand         C1. Domestic Visitors                       ●   Making sure we conserve and
    shows distinctive characteristics:                                                            enhance our landscape and heritage
                                                  To understand our domestic visitors             assets
    ●   A lower than average volume of            better, including those staying with
        leisure tourism as a share of all         friends or relatives while on holiday, we   ●   Making sure we are able to offer a
        tourism in the North East by              undertook a special analysis to                 wide and accessible a range of
        comparison with England as a whole        distinguish between those who are               pursuits to our visitors
                                                  countryside visitors and those who come
    ●   A high volume of VFRs (visiting friends   to our large towns and cities. We found     Who are these city short-break visitors in
        and relations) from the UK, especially    important differences in the socio-         the North East? They are younger than
        as one third of our UK holiday visitors   economic profile and in their choice of     other visitors to our region and than
        are also VFRs; overall VFRs comprise      activities while on holiday.                other city-break visitors in England. They
        44% of all North East visitors                                                        are also more affluent than city breakers
                                                  Countryside tourism in the North East       in other regions. The majority stay visit
    ●   A small volume of overseas visitors       currently has a solid base in its long      friends and relations; 40% stay in
        spread across those on holiday,           holidays - 70% of country bednights are     serviced accommodation in our large
        business, or VFRs                         in stays of over 4 nights, reflecting the   towns and cities. When they are here,
                                                  high proportion of rented self-catering     their most active pastime is shopping.
    ●   A low volume of business visitors, but    accommodation in the sector. However        However, city-breakers are also very
        bringing high levels of expenditure.      this predominance is also a weakness -      active in cultural and sporting pursuit,
                                                  the spend per night in rented self-         but with a different emphasis from the
    We see our markets in three segments:         catering accommodation is lower than        country visitor. For example, more go to
    domestic visitors, business visitors and      the countryside average and particularly    museums than historic buildings, while
    overseas visitors.                            low (£1.22 a night) in owned static         the opposite is the case for country
                                                  caravans which account for 15% of           visitors. The spend per night by visitors
                                                  bednights. The short break sector in        to cities in the North East is higher than
                                                  country holidays creates more value,        the average for England. The spending
                                                  with 58% of trips generating a spend per    profile of those staying with friends and
                                                  night of £59.                               relatives is similar to that of short-
                                                                                              breakers as a whole.
                                                  Who are these countryside visitors to the
                                                  North East? They are older - over two-       We could increase the volume and value
                                                  thirds are over 35, although short-         of the city tourism market by:
                                                  breakers are much younger with many
                                                  25-34 year olds. There are more women       ●   Raising our profile with themed
                                                  than men, and more families have a              campaigns to visitors who currently
                                                  country holiday than city-breakers. When        stay outside the region
                                                  they are here, country holiday makers are
                                                  active in cultural and outdoor pursuits;    ●   Increasing the proportion of VFRs who
                                                  these are the higher spending visitors.         stay in commercial accommodation

                                                  Our efforts to grow the country holiday     ●   Investing further in our culture and
                                                  market should include:                          heritage assets and museums and
                                                                                                  galleries
                                                  ●   Raising our profile with themed
                                                      campaigns to those who currently go     ●   “Packaging” our events, culture and
                                                      elsewhere                                   heritage with accommodation

                                                  ●   Promoting to the higher value short-
                                                      break market
                                                                                                                                               9

                                                                                                          North East
                                                                                                    Tourism Strategy
C2. Business Visitors                            C3. Overseas Visitors

The number of business visitors is small         Around half a million people visit the         Overall, to develop the tourism markets
but yields a higher spend (£164 per              North East from Europe and the rest of         in the North East of England we will
night) than the average for England (£99         the world. This is a fairly even spread of     increase the value of tourism to the
per night). This may be explained by the         visits for business, leisure and VFR. The      region by attracting greater numbers of
higher cost of travel to the North East          distribution of overseas visitors by sub-      out of region visitors who stay overnight
than for those visiting regions nearer           region is not so even, with Tyne and           (from the rest of the UK, the rest of
London and the other main                        Wear hosting two-thirds of the visitors,       Europe and overseas). In particular, we
conurbations. Most business tourism is           reflecting both the population density         will target:
non-discretionary, that is, the trip is rarely   which drives VFR levels, and its strong
the choice of the individual. However, we        business base. Durham, with its famous         ●   Leisure break visitors
could attract more business tourism if           Cathedral and Castle has 17% of
the North East offered a large, high             overseas visitors.                             ●   Overseas visitors, focusing on those
quality conference and exhibition space.                                                            through air, rail and sea gateways
In addition, there is a strong market for        Who are the overseas visitors who come
corporate incentive travel packages and          to the North East? Two thirds of them          ●   Business visitors, which is forecast to
“awaydays” in upmarket city or country           are between 25 and 54, one third stay in           grow nationally
house hotels.                                    hotels and one third stay in a private
                                                 home. Bed and breakfast and                    ●   VFRs, which is already strong in the
What kind of people are domestic                 guesthouse accommodation are also                  North East and could further grow in
business visitors? Across England they           popular at 12%. Every visit from an                value
are mainly over 35 years of age and              overseas visitor incurs an average spend
three-quarters are from the ABC1 social          of £319 over an average 7.4 nights. We         These proposals will also lead to an
class. While most travel by car, 27% use         should focus on expanding this market.         increase in day visitors to the region.
public transport. Most (72%) stay in             Not surprisingly our main source markets       Although this market generates less
serviced accommodation but almost                are those which are served by the main         value to the regional economy than
25% stay with a friend or relative.              gateways to the North East both for            overnight visitors, the income and year
                                                 ferry-borne and airborne visitors. The         round pattern of activity of day visitors is
Our efforts to grow this market should           USA visitors are the exception; the            critical to the viability of our museums,
include:                                         traditional arrival points for visitors from   cafés and other tourist attractions,
                                                 the USA are the railway stations between       particularly in rural areas.
●   Improving the quality of service             London and Scotland.
    offered (exceeding expectations) to
    encourage repeat visits                      There is considerable scope for growth
                                                 in overseas tourism by:
●   Improving the evening cultural and
    entertainment offer                          ●   Promoting low cost-flight services
                                                     from our two airports
●   Focusing on potential business-
    friendly accommodation in the middle         ●   Raising our promotional activity levels
    price ranges                                     in key gateway markets served by
                                                     ferries and air carriers
●   Developing a large, quality conference
    and exhibition space/centre                  ●   Building a regional conference and
                                                     exhibition centre




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10

                                         D Tourism - Roles and Responsibilities



                                             D1. Delivery Structures




                                             The North East Tourism Advisory Board has been established to take responsibility for
                                             overseeing the preparation and implementation of the North East Tourism Strategy.
                                             The terms of reference for the Board are attached in Annex One.

                                             Our efforts to build a stronger tourism sector in the North East must include effective
                                             organisations to manage destinations for visitors, provide assistance to tourism
      The One NorthEast Regional             businesses and attractions and market the region’s tourism offer. Substantial
     Tourism Team and Area Tourism           consultations with stakeholders across the region indicate that this could be best
                                             achieved by building upon existing delivery organisations.
      Partnerships will develop and
                                             Thus, One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team has been established. This team will
     negotiate Action Plans to clearly       be responsible for developing and delivering the regional strategy and major
     set out how the strategy will be        marketing campaigns. It will also create and then support Tourism Network North
                                             East. The key members of the Network will be the Area Tourism Partnerships
              implemented.                   (ATPs) created by existing organisations in specific areas across the region. The
                                             purpose of each Partnership will be to ensure that an area provides visitors with a
                                             quality experience. They will draw together all public, private and third sector
                                             organisations in an area to reach agreements on actions to improving the visitor
                                             experience. Each Partnership will also be responsible for promoting places and
                                             attractions in their area.
                                                                                                                                  11

                                                                                                North East
                                                                                          Tourism Strategy


D2. Guiding Principles for Public Investment




Public investment is needed in capital projects to improve our assets, enhance our
offer and our ICT to better meet market demand. It is also needed in revenue support
for initiatives in training, business advice, quality improvement and marketing.

The most important principle for public investment in tourism in our region is that it
must directly assist the delivery of the ten objectives, as set out in Section A of the
Strategy. While ensuring accordance with each, the priority will be to meet the              Further details of investment in
economic objectives, which are aimed at increasing the volume and value of tourism         the region’s existing and emerging
throughout the year, improving efficiency, creating quality employment and increasing
investment.                                                                                  tourism attractions is set out at

The region’s four Sub-Regional Partnership strategic investment plans form the basis        section E3 Activities, Attractions
of capital and revenue investment for 2005/08. The Sub-Regional Partnerships                and Experiences and Annex Two,
represent Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Tees Valley. These
plans contain some projects that may be of regional significance based on their “out        which provides a set of Guiding
of region pulling power.” We will consult with a range of other funders and regional
agencies - North East Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (NEMLAC), Heritage               Principles for investment in
Lottery Fund, Arts Council of England - to ensure projects with merit achieve the           tourism activities, attractions and
necessary match funding.
                                                                                                      experiences.




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12

                                           E Our Strategy

                                               E1. Tourism Marketing




     Our strategy has 7 components:            Stakeholders throughout the region see       ●   Business visitors
                                               the need to transform how we market
     E1 Tourism Marketing                      the North East to potential leisure and      ●   VFRs (visiting friends and relatives)
                                               business visitors from the rest of the UK,
     E2 Information and Visitor Services       Europe and abroad. As we develop our         Our new campaigns will be based on the
                                               marketing campaigns we will take             main motivational needs of consumers.
     E3 Activities, Attractions and            account of four factors:                     Broadly to:
        Experiences
                                               ●   The ten objectives of the NETS (as       ●   Relax (away from our busy stressful
     E4 Accommodation                              set out in Section A)                        lives)

     E5 Business and Workforce                 ●   Our strongest tourism assets (as set     ●   Explore the outdoors, our beautiful
        Development                                out in Section B)                            countryside and coastline and breathe
                                                                                                the fresh air
     E6 Integrated Transport Infrastructure    ●   Consumer trends and knowledge of
                                                   our markets (as set out in Section C)    ●   Discover places, attractions, events
     E7 Planning and the Environment                                                            that have been on our “wish list” of
                                               ●   The Regional Image Strategy                  places to see
     All of these are of prime importance
     and the region’s success depends on       Thus, One NorthEast Regional Tourism         ●   Experience time with family and
     progress across the board and must        Team will focus on attracting greater            friends and build shared memories for
     not be developed in isolation from        numbers of out of region visitors (from          the future
     one another. Each of the                  the rest of the UK, Europe and overseas)
     components is set out in this section.    who stay overnight. This will entail         Campaigns will not be defined by
                                               targeting:                                   reference to administrative boundaries
                                                                                            and will be led either by One NorthEast
                                               ●   Leisure break visitors                   Regional Tourism Team or one or more
                                                                                            of the Area Tourism Partnerships. This
                                               ●   European and overseas visitors who       will be agreed by negotiation of the Area
                                                   use the North East’s air and sea         Tourism Partnership Action Plans.
                                                   gateways
                                                                                                                                            13

                                                                                                      North East
                                                                                                Tourism Strategy

Regional Image Strategy                                                                       England’s North Country

In 2005, One NorthEast will launch a new      The regional identifier brand will provide a:   The first Northern Way Growth Strategy
Regional Image Strategy. This will feature                                                    identifies opportunities to promote ‘The
our approach to enhancing the image of        ●   Geographic locator for our many             North’ as a brand in international
the North East to potential leisure and           assets and icons (ensuring the North        markets to target potential visitors and
business visitors, investors,                     East benefits from all of the positive      investors. Research shows that the three
entrepreneurs and skilled workers. In the         associations from our assets)               Northern regions, North East, North
course of preparing this Strategy, in-                                                        West and Yorkshire are not well known
depth market research has shown that in       ●   Consistent image, which will over time      abroad. Indeed most people overseas
key markets, awareness of the North               help change, outdated perceptions of        have difficulty geo-graphically placing
East is low. No individual locations or           the region                                  the North. We will work jointly with
assets are sufficiently well known yet to                                                     Yorkshire Forward, the North West
use as “fighting brands.”                     ●   Flexible brand which partners               Development Agency and England’s
                                                  throughout the region can get               North Country (ENC) to develop
This research and stakeholder                     involved with, providing everyone with      marketing campaigns that build on the
comments, suggest that it is appropriate          an opportunity to help in the task of       work that ENC have been leading to
to build the Image Strategy around our            changing outdated perceptions               date.
four key assets:
                                              ●   Tool that will allow the many new and       VisitBritain
●   Countryside and coast                         exciting projects throughout the
                                                  region to be linked clearly to the North    VisitBritain are currently working to
●   History and heritage                          East and its renaissance                    sharpen the brand position of Britain
                                                                                              within the international visitor market. In
●   City culture                                                                              partnership with the regions they are
                                              Tourism and regional image activity will        developing an international brand
●   Business innovation                       use the new regional identifier brand to        positioning for Britain that will be more
                                              present a strong and consistent message         compelling for overseas visitors. Within
These four themes - and the people of         for the North East locally, nationally and      the domestic market VisitEngland are
the North East - will be at the heart of      internationally. Research has shown that        working on a segmentation strategy. We
the Regional Image Strategy.                  where decision-makers have visited the          will ensure that the new regional
                                              North East, they are more likely to make        identifier brand gains the maximum
These themes will provide the basis for       positive decisions about investment in          exposure alongside the new enhanced
our campaigns and imagery. They will be       the region. Therefore promoting the             Britain brand.
supported by recognised regional              attractions and quality of life in the
attractions, icons, and events. Within        region will be key to achieving its
each we will promote “established             commercial and industrial investment
brands” that have strong market position      potential.
and “developing brands,” which have the
potential to be so. We will focus on key      In 2005, we will roll out a new
target audiences - both established and       communications campaign inter-
new - particularly in national and            nationally, nationally and regionally. This
international markets.                        will be a fully integrated PR and
                                              Marketing campaign which champions
At the heart of this campaign will be the     the very best the region has to offer the
new regional identifier brand. All of the     business investor, the visitor and the
fully integrated activity will feature the    employment market.
new brand. It will provide a focal point to
bring a wide-range of activity together in
one cohesive campaign.




                                                                                                             final report
14




                                                 E2. Information and Visitor Services

     In common with many other regions, we       We will invest, at the regional level, to      At present, responsibility for the
     are collecting and providing tourism        improve information and visitor services       collection, maintenance and distribution
     information in an ad hoc, inconsistent      to ensure that we:                             of tourism information is fragmented
     manner. This confuses the visitor and                                                      across the region. Disparate databases
     duplication increases costs within the      ●   Make better use of existing public and     exist in regional bodies, tourist
     industry. If we are to increase our share       private sector resources being             information centres, local authority
     of the tourism market, we must collect          invested in gathering, preparing and       tourism departments, government
     and provide information that is                 distributing tourism information           agencies and private companies. If the
     accessible, consistent and timely.                                                         region is to compete nationally and
                                                 ●   Provide consistent and current             internationally we must provide high
                                                     tourism product and market                 quality rich information, to all our visitor
                                                     information                                contact points. It is the quality, depth
                                                                                                and timeliness of the information we
                                                 ●   Adopt the highest standards of             provide that will set us apart from other
                                                     Customer Relationship Management           regions.
                                                     (CRM) best practice, staff
                                                     development and quality                    We are establishing the Regional
                                                     assurance/accreditation schemes            Information Management Programme
                                                                                                that will serve the North East with a cost
                                                 ●   Support regional and sub-regional          effective tourism information resource.
                                                     marketing initiatives by integrating the   The aim of the programme will be to
                                                     visitor contact strategy with the          ensure all tourism information is current,
                                                     marketing function                         consistent and conforms to national data
                                                                                                standards. In addition, the programme
                                                 ●   Measure our performance to                 will ensure the region achieves critical
                                                     maximise return on investment              mass of “bookable product” offered
                                                                                                through local, sub-regional, regional and
                                                 This will feature a wide range of efforts to   national sales channels by proactively
                                                 increase visitor spend across the region       sourcing availability, allocation and
                                                 by up-selling, cross-selling and               pricing information.
                                                 stimulating repeat visits and
                                                 recommendations.

                                                 The main strands of our efforts to
                                                 provide the region’s tourism
                                                 organisations and businesses with
                                                 effective sales channels and to provide
                                                 visitors to the North East with up-to-date
                                                 information/booking services for our
                                                 product are as follows:

                                                 Information Services

                                                 Product information is a vital resource for
                                                 tourism promotion, commerce, business
                                                 support and market intelligence work.
                                                 The collection, quality monitoring and
                                                 dissemination of tourism information are
                                                 key to the success of the region’s small
                                                 and medium sized tourism enterprises.
                                                                                                                                        15

                                                                                                   North East
                                                                                             Tourism Strategy
Visitor Services                            Our Visitor Contact Strategy will result in    Regional Tourism Management
                                            the building of an integrated North East       System
Critical to increasing tourism related      Visitor Information Network. This network
spend within the region will be how we      will ensure that whichever medium a            Advanced ICT systems enable the
directly engage with potential visitors     visitor chooses and no matter where they       collection of a wide variety of tourism
about what the North East has to offer.     are in their ‘journey’, they will be           product information and the distribution
We are preparing a Visitor Contact          provided with access to the information        of that information instantly to
Strategy which both provides the region     and services they need to make their           information providers and the market
with a distinct competitive advantage       holiday choices.                               place. It facilitates the gathering of
and is integrated with the national                                                        market intelligence data.
Customer Contact Framework for Action.      We will re-invigorate the Northumbria
                                            Network of Information Centres initiative.     We are developing an ICT-based
Today, many options exist for the visitor   The new North East Visitor Information         infrastructure for regional organisations,
to access information or make a             Network will be driven by the adoption of      tourism destinations and businesses that
booking: the Internet; brochures; tourist   a regional quality standard for customer       will enable joint marketing and visitor
information centres; contact centres;       care that builds on the emerging national      service initiatives. This will allow the
kiosks; travel agents; tour and coach       standards. We will constantly monitor our      region to expand and better target our
operators; personal recommendation;         customer care performance. We will             sales and marketing activities and
teletext/Interactive TV and direct with     improve the return on investment in this       enhance the visitor experience from
tourism businesses. Importantly, visitors   Network by achieving economies of              initial enquiry through to successful
do not necessarily stay with one medium     scale, accessing professional advice on        holiday.
when researching or buying but access a     commercial and retail methods, provide
number of visitor information channels.     training familiarisation for all staff, and    We will achieve this in two stages. First,
                                            promoting services to visitors. The            we will ensure the current destin-e
                                            Network will support VisitBritain in the       system provides the infrastructure to
                                            development of the national Customer           deliver current work. Second, we have
                                            Contact Framework for Action.                  engaged Codeworks, the region’s Digital
                                                                                           Centre for Excellence, to assess regional
                                            We will ensure that all visitors are able to   and national tourism ICT initiatives, and
                                            access a wide range of leaflets,               propose how the existing regional
                                            brochures, maps and public transport           platform should be further developed. In
                                            timetables covering facilities, attractions,   developing an ICT infrastructure, it will
                                            events, eating out and other activities.       be essential to ensure that tourism
                                            This information will be accessible in         organisations, businesses and
                                            print or web-based format, be of the           attractions, from heritage to hospitality,
                                            highest quality and regularly updated. It      are enabled to introduce and participate
                                            should also be available in a range of         in the new ICT network and emerging
                                            languages and provide information              e-business opportunities.
                                            targeted at visitors with special needs.
                                            This will entail filling gaps in our current
                                            provision, avoiding duplication and
                                            improving distribution networks.




                                                                                                        final report
16




     E3. Activities,                             We must concentrate first on improving         These are examples of magnet
     Attractions and                             what we have in the North East today.          attractions, others may be identified:
     Experiences                                 We will only encourage the creation of
                                                 new attractions where there is a clear         ●   Hadrian’s Wall
     Memories of a holiday are forged by         gap in provision. We will take advantage       ●   Northumberland National Park, Areas
     what people do as much as where they        of our major magnet attractions to bring           of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
     stay. The North East offers many good       more domestic and overseas visitors to             Heritage Coast
     natural and man-made attractions. We        the North East. We will implement              ●   Durham Castle and Cathedral
     see attractions as including built assets   integrated themed campaigns to                 ●   Beamish, The North of England Open
     (such as Beamish, The North of England      increase the profile of our other                  Air Museum
     Open Air Museum, The Alnwick Garden,        dispersed attractions, outdoor pursuits,       ●   The Alnwick Garden
     and Baltic, Centre for Contemporary         events and festivals. We will integrate        ●   BALTIC, The Sage Gateshead, and
     Art), areas of natural beauty (such as      these attractions and experiences with             NewcastleGateshead as a whole
     national parks, areas of outstanding        the hospitality and travel trades.
     natural beauty and heritage coasts), city                                                  However, even though an attraction is
     destinations themselves and “cross          The main strands of our efforts to             clearly a magnet for the region, this does
     regional activities” (such as walking and   strengthen the region’s attractions and        not necessarily mean that it is necessary
     cycling).                                   activities for leisure and business visitors   to invest public resources in supporting
                                                 are:                                           it. The guiding principles to assess
                                                                                                investment opportunities will always be
                                                 Existing Attractions                           used in the context of other regional
                                                                                                priorities.
                                                 One of our top priorities is to continue to
                                                 attract public and private investment in       We also recognise the need to invest in
                                                 existing and emerging magnet                   those attractions that are not defined as
                                                 attractions - those that generate the          magnet attractions, in particular the need
                                                 highest visitor numbers and expenditure        to improve the quality offered by smaller
                                                 in the North East. We are defining these       facilities and attractions. Additional
                                                 magnets with reference to the strength of      financial support will be available to
                                                 their appeal, their ability to influence a     support attractions to improve the quality
                                                 decision to stay overnight, the extent to      of the visitor experience. We will
                                                 which they focus marketing outside the         therefore, champion and advocate
                                                 region and attract higher spending profile     participation in effective national quality
                                                 of their visitors. Our magnet attractions      schemes such as the Visitor Attraction
                                                 play a vital role as catalysts in themed       Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) and
                                                 campaigns and in drawing visitors to our       also support these attractions by using
                                                 more dispersed attractions, existing           other resources such as educational or
                                                 outdoor pursuits, cultural and sporting        cultural budgets, investments and public
                                                 events and festivals. The guiding              realm works where they be shown to
                                                 principles which we will use to assess         deliver clear economic impact.
                                                 investment in existing and emerging
                                                 magnet attractions are set out in Annex        For both existing and new attractions,
                                                 Two.                                           we will seek to align capital and revenue
                                                                                                investment in tourism with Sub-Regional
                                                 Following these guiding principles, the        Partnership investment plans. Through
                                                 following existing attractions emerge as       involvement with other funding bodies
                                                 magnet attractions at the time of writing.     such as English Heritage, the Heritage
                                                                                                Lottery Fund and the Arts Council
                                                                                                England North East, we will seek to
                                                                                                ensure that priority projects achieve the
                                                                                                necessary leverage.
                                                                                                                                           17

                                                                                                      North East
                                                                                                Tourism Strategy
New Attractions                                                                               Festivals and Events

In addition to existing leading and            We will also harness the power of film         The North East has a fantastic track
themed attractions, we will continue to        and TV locations such as those used in         record in running major festivals and
investigate the potential to create new        “Harry Potter” and “King Arthur” in            events attracting many leisure and
attractions in the region. These will only     developing these connected                     business visitors from outside the region;
be considered where there is a clear gap       experiences.
in provision left by existing attractions.
Several feasibility studies are now
underway (such as the assessment of
Kielder Water and Forest Park) and we
will continue to support such initiatives in
the future subject to their ability to meet
the guiding principles set out in Annex
Two.

History and Heritage

Our history and heritage provide a
significant role in supporting the image
and distinctiveness of the North East,
drawing in visitors to magnet or other
attractions. We will work closely with this
sector, supporting its development
through all components of this strategy
to increase its capacity to meet visitor       Leisure, Culture and Outdoor                   The development and implementation of
expectations whilst maintaining the            Pursuits                                       culture10, A Decade of World Class
integrity of these assets.                                                                    Culture, provides a boost to our regional
                                               We see considerable opportunities to           programme of festivals and events
Connected Experiences: Theme                   expand the range of leisure and sporting       taking place right across the North East.
Led Tourism                                    activities on offer in the region. This will   From the opening of the new phase of
                                               mainly feature encouraging private sector      The Alnwick Garden and The Sage
Our region’s attractions are spread            activity providers and accommodation           Gateshead to the Stockton River
across the North East. Our wealth of           providers to work together to “package”        Festival, The Tall Ships Race 2005, the
historic buildings, our Roman and              existing activities and then market these      Sunderland International Air Show, the
Christian Heritage, our maritime and           packages to the rest of the UK. This will      25th anniversary of the Great North Run
railway heritage and our contribution to       include raising awareness of the package       to the Seve Trophy. From 2005, we will
the industrial revolution are of immense       travel regulations. It will also entail        make recommendations as to how we
interest to visitors ... but these are found   exploring the new opportunities for            can enhance the range of festivals and
in many different locations. We will be        private companies and possibly, joint          events to ensure a significant number
encouraging attractions to group into          public/private ventures to invest in new       have national and international appeal;
product themes that will provide               facilities. We also need to make it easier     consider timetabling to ensure that
“connected experiences” for the visitor.       to reserve places in many of our existing      across each year festivals and events
This will be market led. There may be a        leisure and culture activities.                make the best use of infrastructure and
need for investment in some of these in                                                       creative themes; co-ordinate our
order to offer a quality that is consistent                                                   approach to attracting major events and
with other venues in the same thematic                                                        competitions to the Region and identify
group. Where this is the case, we will                                                        existing, emerging or potential festivals
seek to attract investment to upgrade the                                                     that have the capacity to grow and
facilities and visitor experience.                                                            contribute most to the implementation of
                                                                                              the overall objectives of the North East
                                                                                              Tourism Strategy.

                                                                   Festivals and



                                                                                                           final report
18




     Food                                          Regional Conference and
                                                   Exhibition Centre
     Food tourism is a growing national and
     international trend and one that offers       A Regional Conference and Exhibition
     huge potential for the North East, with its   centre would attract more business
     large rural hinterland the source of a        tourists to the region, and we are
     steady supply of fresh produce and            committed to developing a plan to take
     specialty foodstuffs. A number of local       this forward. A major centre would also
     food networks have already been               attract high profile, prestigious national
     established across the North East and         and international events, enhance the
     there is considerable scope for building      relationship with the business and
     on these by linking up more small             academic worlds and generate
     producers more intensively. We will           significant direct economic benefits from
     investigate ways of both improving the        delegate expenditure. Appropriate sites
     quality of existing eating establishments     in NewcastleGateshead will be assessed
     and increasing the profile of the North       along with the suitability of a
     East’s gastronomic offer.                     public/private partnership to finance the
                                                   development.
     Shopping
                                                   Cruise tourism
     Shopping in general is one of the primary
     activities and motivators for leisure         Cruise tourism offers the potential to
     breaks and we will encourage the growth       build significant new markets for the
     of specialty shops and services that          North East. Cruise passengers to the UK
     contribute to the development of an           rose by 54.6% between 2000 and 2003
     unique and distinctive North East             to 226,785 passengers on 87 ships
     shopping experience.                          operated by 46 companies.

                                                   Ports in the North East are strategically
                                                   placed to handle cruise ships being half-
                                                   way between Orkney and Harwich and
                                                   one day’s sailing from Scandinavia and
                                                   the Baltic. Cruise lines are looking for
                                                   excellent attractions, good customer
                                                   services, quality experiences and
                                                   efficient and low cost port handling.

                                                   Cruise customers are looking to
                                                   experience the British way of life, culture
                                                   and heritage and can be attracted to visit
                                                   the magnet attractions of the North East.
                                                   Customers will need good interpretive
                                                   facilities, foreign language provision,
                                                   good quality coach touring and ground
                                                   handling facilities for groups, catering
                                                   etc. To realise the potential to bring £6.5
                                                   million and a minimum of 100 jobs to the
                                                   region, we will support the development
                                                   of cruise tourism with a co-ordinated
                                                   promotional and marketing programme.
                                                                                                                                              19

                                                                                                     North East
                                                                                               Tourism Strategy

E4. Accommodation                             Northumberland, Tees Valley and                Continuous Quality Improvement:
                                              County Durham                                  National Quality Assurance
The expectations of holiday and                                                              Schemes
business tourists are continually rising.     We will support the development of
The challenge facing accommodation            visitor accommodation in                       We must continuously improve the
providers in the North East is to improve     Northumberland, in the Tees Valley and         quality of all types of accommodation, in
occupancy levels - this will entail           in County Durham to ensure that it keeps       all price ranges and locations. It is
constant investment to improve the            pace with changing patterns of demand.         widely recognised that one of the best
quality of their offer. Often, for rural      The results from the Northumberland,           ways is to encourage accommodation
accommodation providers, this is              Hartlepool/Tees Valley and County              providers to participate in nationally
difficult when demand is seasonal.            Durham comprehensive market                    recognised quality assurance schemes.
Moreover, in our towns and cities, where      assessments will be drawn together. We         Within the next two years, we will move
business tourists provide a prime source      will then prepare a Prospectus, with the       to a position where participation in a
of demand, the supply of                      local planning authorities, to highlight the   quality scheme for accommodation
accommodation sometimes fails to keep         potential demand and the prime sites           businesses is seen as an essential
pace with the growth of the economy.          that will be available.                        condition for public sector support
Generally, accommodation providers                                                           through marketing or information
must now ensure that they meet the            Monitor Demand and Supply                      services; this is in line with Visit Britain’s
needs of disabled visitors; this is a big                                                    own marketing policy. We will consider
challenge - particularly for smaller          In order to maximise private investment        how the Area Tourism Partnerships and
providers.                                    to improve and expand the region’s             the business support network (see
                                              visitor accommodation stock, we must           section E5 - Business and Workforce
Experience elsewhere suggests that the        regularly monitor the business drivers,        Development) can contribute to this
most successful regions are those that        which are likely to increase the demand        process.
implement continuous quality                  for more hotel and other serviced
improvement programmes and make a             bedspaces in our towns and cities. We          We will also promote other appropriate
strong commitment to nationally               will monitor supply and demand for             quality schemes throughout the region
recognised accreditation schemes. Our         bedspace across all categories of rural        such as Walkers and Cyclists Welcome
main efforts to strengthen the region’s       accommodation and when shortages               Schemes, we will promote the National
visitor accommodation are as follows:         arise, promote increases in provision.         Accessible Scheme and we will
                                                                                             investigate and implement an
Tyne and Wear                                                                                environmental accreditation scheme for
                                                                                             accommodation businesses.
Based on evidence gathered by the
NewcastleGateshead Initiative for the
region’s Capital of Culture bid, it appears
that there is potential demand for
additional bedspaces in all price ranges
but especially at the top end of the
market in NewcastleGateshead.
Sunderland also suffers from a significant
shortage of high quality hotel
accommodation. We shall draw this
evidence together and with the Tyne and
Wear local planning authorities, prepare
a Prospectus highlighting the potential
demand and the prime sites that may be
available. This will define the
opportunities for investment by major
national and international chain hotel
operators.




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20




     E5. Business and Workforce Development




     Many stakeholders across the North            Sector Skills Needs
     East see that limitations in the skills of
     the region’s existing workforce are           To develop the skills of the public,
     constraining the growth of tourism.           private and voluntary sector workforces,
     Similarly, small and medium sized             we are creating a Workforce
     businesses face a wide range of barriers      Development Plan for tourism by March
     to their growth. We must directly meet        2005. This is being led by the North
     these skills and business development         East Tourism Skills Alliance (NETSA),
     challenges if the North East’s tourism        which has been established to bring
     industry is going to expand. This             together employers, funders, training
     challenge must be faced by tourism            providers, Government agencies and the
     organisations in both the public and          national Sector Skills Council. The
     private sector and by full and part time      Workforce Development Plan will: set out
     employees and volunteers.                     employer skills needs, show how skills
                                                   needs will be met across the region and
     Meanwhile, the complex range of               identify how provision will be funded.
     training initiatives and business support     The Plan will take particular account of
     organisations presents a confused             the “voice of the industry” via the work
     picture to the businesses in the North        of the relevant Sector Skills Councils.
     East. It is difficult to understand which
     organisation can best meet the needs of       NETSA members and our Centres of
     a particular business. In addition, our       Vocational Excellence (CoVEs), Advice
     tourism businesses and attractions will       and Guidance Partnerships, colleges,
     also face the particular challenge of how     universities and various employer groups
     to best meet the needs of disabled            will all have key roles to play. The Plan
     visitors and how to comply with the           will show how we will build their
     requirements of the Disability                capacity to meet the skills needs of the
     Discrimination Act, Part III that came into   industry. In parallel, we will seek to
     force in October 2004.                        improve the image of employment in the
                                                   tourism industry for those in education
                                                   and training. We will do this with the
                                                   assistance of the Regional Skills
                                                   Partnership, Skills North East.
                                                                                                              21

                                                                                                 North East
                                                                                           Tourism Strategy
Access to Business Advice and                 In doing this we will draw upon the
Guidance                                      experience of existing projects within the
                                              North East and elsewhere. This will
In the North East’s tourism industry we       include considering whether a virtual
have some innovative, highly successful       business support structure specific to
entrepreneurs. However, some of those         the visitor industry should be
who set up tourism businesses are             established. This would facilitate the co-
moving from other occupations and they        ordination of working relationships
may be entering self-employment for the       across the range of services to ensure a
first time. Access to high quality            seamless offer to business.
business support and advice is therefore
important if the region is to remain          Tourism Business Networks
competitive. Additionally, both access to
good market intelligence, as well as          In addition to formal help and support
support in using it effectively, is vital.    there is a strong voluntary peer support
                                              activity in many areas in the form of
The focus of public sector supported          various tourism networks. Effective,
business advice is now via the                facilitated networking helps businesses
‘brokerage model’ whereby businesses          to exchange best practice, create value
and attractions access public sector          through collaborative working, share
supported advice via a broker - usually       industry information, thus assisting
Business Link - but the detailed advice is    businesses to prosper and flourish.
given by suppliers who are professionals      Currently, some of the networking in the
in their field (eg marketing, IT support or   region is informal and ad hoc and not all
finance). The Tourism Network will            our businesses have the opportunity to
therefore work with Business Link             take part. Therefore, we will foster the
operators so as to ensure that the            development of a tourism business
service offered to businesses provides        group capable of acting as the voice of
support that is relevant, driven by need,     the industry and undertaking
high quality and accessible.                  collaborative initiatives and networking.




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22




                                          E6. Integrated Transport and Infrastructure

                                                                                        Integrated Public Transport

                                                                                        The key to accommodating more visitors
                                                                                        to the North East’s urban areas and
                                                                                        beautiful countryside is to manage traffic
                                                                                        more effectively, and provide more
                                                                                        integrated public transport services. To
                                                                                        be effective, such management must
                                                                                        take into account accessibility by people
                                                                                        on foot or cycle. Generally, accessibility
                                                                                        to the region by rail and ferry is good
                                                                                        and air services are improving rapidly.
                                                                                        But access to the region from the rest of
                                          The potential for tourism to increase in
                                                                                        the country by road is problematic from
                                          the North East will rest largely on the
                                                                                        some areas. Additionally, once a visitor
                                          ability of tourists to travel easily to and
                                                                                        has arrived without a car, it is very
                                          from - as well as within - the region.
                                                                                        difficult, or impossible, to travel to and
                                          Parts of the region are well served by the
                                                                                        between some destinations in the
                                          national trunk road network. Rail and
                                                                                        region. An integrated approach to
                                          bus transport to some parts of the
                                                                                        developing visitor attractions in tandem
                                          region is excellent. Air services to
                                                                                        with adequate traffic management and
                                          Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley
                                                                                        public transport infrastructure will be a
                                          Airport are continuously improving with
                                                                                        priority - this will be particularly relevant
                                          more routes being established to a wider
                                                                                        when looking at the development of
                                          range of European markets.
                                                                                        tourist products within a particular
                                                                                        theme.
                                          However, there are significant
                                          weaknesses in the region’s
                                                                                        We must improve existing services
                                          infrastructure. At peak periods (often
                                                                                        through better provision of advanced
                                          when tourists travel) there is often
                                                                                        and “real time” timetable information
                                          congestion on the A1 and on the A19.
                                                                                        tailored to visitor needs, web-based
                                          The capacity of east-west routes
                                                                                        integrated ticketing, more weekly and
                                          (particularly the A66 and A69) must be
                                                                                        daily touring passes and transport
                                          increased. The East Coast Main Line can
     The key to accommodating more                                                      vehicles appropriate to the needs of
                                          only accommodate limited additional
                                                                                        tourists (e.g. buses and railcars which
     visitors to the North East’s urban   custom at peak periods without further
                                                                                        can carry bicycles). New services to
                                          major investment. The region is pressing
     areas and beautiful countryside is                                                 specific tourist destinations will also be
                                          Government to invest in improving these
                                                                                        required; these could be combined with
                                          major road and rail routes. Moreover,
     to provide more integrated public                                                  additional services to meet local needs
                                          visitor facilities (car parking, coach
                                                                                        or provided on a seasonal and/or
      transport service and park and      stops, snack facilities, toilets, signage
                                                                                        demand responsive basis. The service
                                          etc.) in many attractive destinations are
               ride services                                                            improvements will include real time
                                          limited and some are only accessible by
                                                                                        travel information. Currently, there are
                                          car. Therefore, any increases in visitors
                                                                                        severe constraints on rural public
                                          could lead to increased traffic and
                                                                                        transport and we must explore how best
                                          further pressure on the environment.
                                                                                        to provide financially viable services.

                                          Our new Area Tourism Partnerships and
                                          the Tourism Network North East will play
                                          a key role in pressing for investments to
                                          improve basic infrastructure for visitors.
                                          Our main priorities are as follows:
                                                                                                                 23

                                                                                                    North East
                                                                                              Tourism Strategy
Traffic Management

In our more environmentally sensitive locations it will be necessary to manage visitors
who arrive by car, as well as public transport. For example, this might include
introducing park and ride services. Currently, plans are being prepared to introduce
such a service for visitors to Hadrian’s Wall. We will explore whether it is appropriate
to develop similar services in other locations in the region.

Footpaths, Bridleways and Cycleways

Walking and cycling are two of the most popular leisure activities. The North East is
well placed to attract more visitors who enjoy these pursuits from the rest of the UK,
Europe and further afield. This is one of the region’s existing competitive advantages.
Building from the work of the Regional Cycle Tourism Strategy, we will develop a
programme for investing in and maintaining footpaths, bridleways, cycleways and
associated facilities to meet the needs of all visitors.

Signage

Tourism site signing in the international brown and white livery is an essential visitor
service and needs to be better coordinated within the region. Signing to specific sites
alerts visitors to the attractions on offer and provides route confirmations to visitors
who have already decided to visit the attraction.

Currently, efforts to devise appropriate signing schemes in the region can be
constrained by rigid application regulations. A region-wide, consistent Tourism Signing
Strategy that will meet specific local needs will be developed. This will feature
“welcome” signage on principal ‘A’ class roads to all major tourist attractions (in
partnership with highway authorities and with operator contributions), menu signage
along major visitor routes and improving signing for footpaths and cycleways. We will
develop and set out our approach to developing a region-wide tourism signage
strategy and programme.

Transport Gateways

Most visitors to the North East from outside the region will arrive at one of several
‘gateway’ locations, accessed by air, rail, ferry or road. We will focus attention on
these gateway locations and work to ensure that transport links between them and
various visitor destinations within the region - be they urban, coastal or rural - are well
served and simple for visitors to access and use.

Cross Border Co-operation

We see opportunities to work with adjacent regions to promote tourism and to play a
key role in pan-regional initiatives such as the Northern Way Growth Strategy. In this
way we will ensure that infrastructure links from outside the region - to for example,
Yorkshire, the Scottish Borders and the North West region, are fully exploited and any
plans for their expansion co-ordinated. Similarly, the initiatives contained within this
strategy will also feed back into pan-regional projects to ensure that we are not
working against one another.




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24




                                          E7. Planning and the Environment

                                                                                         Tourism developments need to deliver
                                                                                         benefits to local business and wider
                                                                                         communities and be developed in a way
                                                                                         that is sensitive to local needs.

                                                                                         The tourism strategy can play a vital role
                                                                                         in securing the role of natural, heritage
                                                                                         and cultural assets at the heart of the
                                                                                         region’s economy. It will be essential to
                                                                                         ensure that effective monitoring of the
                                                                                         condition of our basic resources are in
                                                                                         place. Monitoring itself is of no value
                                                                                         unless management actions are in place
                                                                                         to react to issues as they arise.

                                                                                         Town and country planning legislation
                                                                                         provides the foundation for the North
                                                                                         East to promote policies that effectively
                                                                                         protect and enhance environmental and
                                                                                         cultural resources. These resources
                                                                                         cannot be replaced. In addition, the
                                                                                         region’s management plans for wildlife
                                                                                         sites, protected landscapes, market
                                                                                         towns and World Heritage Sites
                                          The strength of our tourism sector is          establish effective maintenance regimes
                                          strongly dependent on the quality of the       and visitor management strategies.
                                          region’s natural environment, our built        Moreover, in the North East, we see
                                          assets and the quality of air and water.       opportunities to build on the existing
                                          Without our beautiful, unspoilt                strengths of the planning system to
                                          landscapes, dramatic coasts, wildlife          create additional tourism investment
                                          sites, Roman and Christian heritage, our       opportunities in both our urban and rural
                                          new cultural assets and our clean air and      areas. These opportunities should be
                                          water, there would be little to attract        developed in accord with the region’s
                                          visitors. tranquillity is also a key part of   Sustainable Development Framework.
                                          the quality of experience in our rural
                                          areas, as well as a vital component of         All tourism development proposals will
                                          the region’s quality of life. Efforts to       be evaluated using the ‘VICE’ model -
                                          grow the tourism industry will be              meaning that their impact on the needs
         In the North East, we see                                                       of Visitors, Industry, Community and the
                                          worthless if they put these assets at risk,
                                          therefore their preservation and               Environment will all be considered. We
       opportunities to build on the
                                          enhancement must be a priority.                will also ensure that our proposals will
     existing strengths of the planning                                                  be tested in a sustainability appraisal to
                                          An often neglected aspect of sustainable       ensure conformity with the Sustainable
        system to create additional                                                      Development Framework.
                                          tourism is the need to ensure a positive
     tourism investment opportunities     relationship between tourism
                                          development and host communities.              There are four strands to our approach
     in both our urban and rural areas    This will be essential if the North East is    to using the planning system to
                                          to retain its reputation for friendliness      strengthen tourism in the region. Again,
                                          and hospitality.                               we see the Area Tourism Partnerships
                                                                                         playing a key role in identifying new
                                                                                         investment opportunities.
                                                                                                                 25

                                                                                                    North East
                                                                                              Tourism Strategy
City and Town Centre Development Opportunities




With careful planning in terms of location, quality and integration with other services,
and provided decisions are based on sound market research, tourism is a vital
component of urban regeneration strategies. Hotels, speciality shopping, iconic
buildings, and cultural projects - both small and big - play a central role in the region’s
tourism offer. Significant opportunities exist to attract private investment to create new
tourism experiences, or expand existing areas that appeal to visitors. There are
significant examples of best practice within the region.

Through Tourism Network North East, the aim will be to ensure that the proposals in
View: the Regional Spatial Strategy, highlight the tourism development opportunities.
Also, Moving Forward: the Northern Way, highlights the valuable role that tourism
plays in the North’s city regions.




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26




     Market Town, Coastal and Rural               Management Plans for Protected
     Development Opportunities                    Areas / Market Towns / Urban
                                                  Centres

                                                  Management Plans for the National
                                                  Parks, the Areas of Outstanding Natural
                                                  Beauty, the World Heritage Sites, the
                                                  Heritage Coasts and Protected Areas are
                                                  being prepared or already exist.
                                                  Similarly, Action Plans for our Market
                                                  Towns and the centres of key towns and
                                                  cities are being prepared, or now exist. It
                                                  is essential that the planned increases in
                                                  visitors to these areas are matched with
                                                  improvements to essential facilities.

                                                  These management or action plans,
                                                  developed and supported by their
                                                  partnerships, reflect the complex issues
                                                  of managing areas in mixed ownership,
                                                  bringing together diverse communities of
     At a smaller scale, built heritage, iconic   interest. These plans are essential
     new buildings or conversions, cultural,      context for tourism development that
     sporting and leisure projects have a         successfully make use of natural and
     central role to play in strengthening the    cultural assets as well as conserving
     tourism offer in our market towns,           them.
     coastal settlements and in specific rural
     locations. Although many local planning      We will work with management plan
     policies currently proactively welcome       partners to ensure that tourism related
     tourism related projects in appropriate      investments fit with the regional tourism
     locations, the preparation of the new        strategy and are incorporated, as
     Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) gives        appropriate into implementation plans of
     the opportunity to refresh planning          Area Tourism Partnerships We will also
     policies to positively promote tourism.      identify gaps in investments in areas of
                                                  strategic importance, prioritise them in
     In addition, new sources of funding are      relation to the regional tourism strategy
     available following the reform of the        and provide support and facilitation to
     Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).            maintain or increase funding to target
     These can be used to develop                 those priorities.
     opportunities for rural tourism
     attractions,manage,and maintain the          We will carefully monitor and respond to
     landscape, natural, cultural and heritage    the impacts of visitors on the
     assets. We will identify how best to         environment. There are many techniques
     ensure that the key policies in the RSS      by which visitors can be managed to
     positively promote appropriate new           reduce any possible adverse impacts on
     tourism investments in key locations.        sensitive environments. One such
     We will also work with partners in the       technique is Limits of Acceptable
     region (Defra and the new Integrated         Change which is currently used to
     Agency for Land Management) to ensure        monitor and respond to visitor impacts
     that sustainable tourism development is      on the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail.
     advanced through the use of additional
     resources available from CAP funding
     reforms.
                                                                                                                                   27

                                                                                                  North East
                                                                                            Tourism Strategy




Iconic Buildings, Design Quality and Public Realm

The quality of our public realm has a key impact on the visitor experience. Public
realm quality is influenced by a wide range of factors including crime or fear of crime,
street cleaning, building quality, traffic and pedestrian conflict and management.
Local authorities and the police have a vital role to play in maintaining and improving
our public realm. This is not purely a tourism issue and it would be impractical for this
tourism strategy to encompass all these issues. However, we will work to ensure that
Tourism Network North East engages with those key stakeholders in public realm
management to ensure that the needs of the visitor and tourism business is reflected
in public realm work. We will also seek to identify and promote best practice in public
realm management as a key part of the region’s destination management. Also, as
part of the Northern Way, we will be promoting iconic public art at key gateways to
the North East.
                                                                                              Together, these three strands will
Generally, the key public and private stakeholders in the region recognise the
importance of good design in all new development and the value of iconic art,                    ensure that we protect and
buildings and the public realm. This is reflected in the recent developments of
                                                                                                    enhance our valuable
exceptional quality and innovation in our urban areas. Iconic buildings in the right
place and design quality generally, can bring particular benefits to the region’s tourism     environmental resources, create
industry. There are several initiatives now underway in the region to promote quality
design. We will review these design initiatives together and if necessary, identify the       new assets, and make sure that
need for further action.
                                                                                                   these offer significant

                                                                                                contributions to the region’s

                                                                                                      tourism industry.




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                  F Monitoring and Evaluation
                     This section outlines how we will monitor progress towards our ten objectives (as set out in Section A).
                     Objectives 1 - 6 are directly concerned with the economic impact of tourism and Objectives 7 - 10 relate to the
                     quality of the visitor experience, including physical product, skills and the environment. It is important to
                     recognise the linkages between the objectives - for example, raising the quality of the visitor experience will
                     play a major part in attracting new visitors and improving productivity.

                     Mechanisms for monitoring some of our objectives are already in place, but further work is also needed. This
                     will include developing an agreed approach to monitoring the economic impact of the regional tourism industry.



     Objective 1:    Attract more domestic and international visitors to the region

     Measures:       Number of visits by UK residents
                     Number of visits by International Visitors

     Instruments:    UK Tourism Survey
                     International Passenger Survey
                     Economic Impact study

     Targets:        Increase market share to 5% of domestic visits and 3% of international visits by 2010. Based on 2003 figures,
                     this represents an increase of 1.3 million domestic visits and 0.7 million international visits.

     Rationale:      Of all the English regions, the North East attracts the smallest number of visitors. It also has the lowest
                     number of trips per head of population in England (1.9, compared with an England average of 2.5). As visitor
                     numbers are subject to significant external influences, it is more meaningful to link targets to market share
                     rather than absolute numbers.

     Baseline:       4% of domestic visits and 2% of international visits (2003)



     Objective 2:    Increase tourists’ average spend and increase day visitor spend

     Measures:       Spend per trip by UK residents
                     Spend per trip by International Visitors
                     Spend per trip by Day Visitors

     Instruments:    UK Tourism Survey
                     International Passenger Survey
                     Regional Day Visitor Survey

     Targets:        Domestic visitors:                  £180 per trip by 2010
                     International visitors:             £500 per trip by 2010
                     Day Visitors:                       £28 per trip by 2010

     Rationale       We aim to attract more high yield visitors and therefore increase average expenditure rates. Day and overnight
                     visitors are quite separate markets, as day visitors are typically resident within the region. They respond to
                     different marketing approaches and have different needs and their expenditure must also be monitored
                     separately. It is unlikely that data on day visitor spend will be available from national sources in the future and
                     therefore specific research will be required within the region.

     Baseline        Domestic spend per trip (2003)      North East £172              England £170
                     Overseas spend per trip (2003)      North East £426              England £493
                     Day Visitor spend (2002/03)         North East £25.40            England £27.70
                                                                                                                                  29

                                                                                               North East
                                                                                         Tourism Strategy

Objective 3    Increase visits throughout the year, not solely in the main holiday season

Measures:      Monthly distribution of visits

Instruments:   Occupancy Surveys

Targets:       Increase average occupancy rates to at least 50% in each quarter

Rationale:     A consistent distribution of visits throughout the year will spread the economic benefits of tourism. This will
               encourage the development of quality employment and business opportunities.

Baseline:      2003 Occupancy figures

                                         q1     q2       q3       q4
               Self catering (unit %)    30     65       82       45
               Serviced (room %)         43     59       60       48



Objective 4:   Increase employment in tourism and tourism- related businesses

Measures:      Number of jobs in tourism (direct and indirect)

Instruments:   Economic Impact study

Targets:       Increase in employment by 2010

Rationale:     Tourism is a key growth area for the regional economy. Increased visitor numbers will require a proportionate
               increase in employment.

Baseline:      Previous research has indicated that tourism directly provides around 47,000 jobs in the region and the indirect
               and induced impacts of tourism support a further 52,000 jobs. In 2005 we will develop a consistent
               methodology for monitoring regional tourism employment, which will also establish baseline information based
               on 2004.



Objective 5:   Improve the productivity of the regional tourism economy

Measures:      Tourist income per head of population

Instruments:   TBA

Targets:       (Appropriate baseline and measurable targets to be established)

Rationale:     We are developing an agreed definition of productivity which can be applied to tourism, including consideration
               of work by the Best Practice Forum for the Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Industry. We will establish a
               mechanism for establishing a baseline and monitoring future performance in 2005.

Baseline       (Appropriate baseline and measurable targets to be established)




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30




     Objective 6:   Accelerate the rate of investment in the tourism product

     Measures:      £s invested (public and private sector)

     Instruments:   Investment Monitor (new survey to be operated by One NorthEast Tourism Team from March 2005)

     Targets:       Increase pa above inflation

     Rationale:     Increased investment in the tourism product, by both the public and private sector, will drive up quality
                    standards and improve the competitiveness of individual businesses and the regional tourism economy. A
                    new Investment Monitor will be in place from April 2005. The first issue will examine investment over the
                    previous 12 months (April 2004 - March 2005), from then on the research will be repeated quarterly

     Baseline:      TBA (March 2005)


     Objective 7    Improve the quality of the tourism product in the North East

     Measures:      Accommodation:           % of accommodation establishments inspected
                    Attractions:             % of attractions inspected



     Instruments:   Accommodation:           National accommodation inspection scheme
                    Attractions:             Visitor Attractions Quality Assurance Scheme

     Targets:       Accommodation:           85% of accommodation participating by 2010
                    Attractions:             50% of attractions participating by 2010

     Rationale:     Driving up quality standards will improve competitiveness and the visitor experience. VisitBritain’s Quality
                    Strategy sets a target of 80% of accommodation participating in the inspection scheme by 2010. The VAQAS
                    scheme is new and has yet to be established, therefore there is scope for a substantial increase.

     Baseline:      Accommodation:           In the North East, 46% of serviced accommodation and 42% of self catering
                                             accommodation establishments are inspected. This compares to a UK average of 43%

                    Attractions:             6% of attractions in the North East have VAQAS accreditation
                                                                                                                                      31

                                                                                                  North East
                                                                                            Tourism Strategy

Objective 8     Improve the quality of the tourism workforce in the North East

Measure:        Increasing the number of people in the workforce with level 2, 3 and 4 qualifications

Instrument:     TBA

Targets:        Increase the number of qualifications achieved at each level

Rationale:      We will work to improve skills in the workforce, using qualifications achieved as a measure for monitoring
                purposes. We will also work to improve the image of tourism as a career, which will attract more high calibre
                staff. This will improve the visitor experience and thus drive repeat visits.

Baseline:       (Appropriate baseline and measurable targets to be established)


Objective 9     Improve levels of visitor satisfaction in the North East

Measures:       Visitor satisfaction with a range of indicators including accommodation, attractions, TICs, services, eating out,
                shopping, parking. signage and nightlife, as well as overall satisfaction with the region.

Instruments:    Primary research will measure overall satisfaction with the region.
                More targeted visitor surveys will provide intelligence to inform decision making at a sub-regional level - it is
                intended that these will be delivered through the new Area Tourism Partnerships, with regional co-ordination by
                One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team.

Targets:        Improvement in each category

Rationale:      Visitor satisfaction drives repeat visits and recommendations and thus has a significant effect on the regional
                tourism economy. It also links directly to improvements in quality standards (Objectives 7 and 8). Much of
                the information gained from Visitor Surveys relates to facilities and infrastructure within a specific location and
                therefore it is more appropriate to conduct this type of research at a sub-regional or destination level.
                However, it is essential that this research is co-ordinated regionally (for example, using standard questions).

Baselines:      Visitor satisfaction surveys conducted in various destinations within the region in 2003 and 2004 provide
                baseline figures for different destination types.



Objective 10:   Enhance and conserve the region’s natural, heritage and cultural assets

                This environmental objective underpins the whole of the Strategy but is more difficult to measure. The NETS,
                therefore, will follow efforts to measure progress on objectives 11 and 12 of the Integrated Regional
                Framework;


                “To protect and enhance the quality and distinctiveness of the region’s rural and urban land and

                landscapes” and “To protect and enhance the region’s cultural heritage and diversity”.




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32

     G Summary of Actions
                                                                                     The draft Tourism Strategy set out a series of summary actions
                                                                                     that would be necessary to deliver our outlined objectives.
                                                                                     During the consultation phase, work has continued on these
                                                                                     actions either to implement them or develop appropriate
                                                                                     mechanisms for their future implementation. The following
                                                                                     Action Plan should be viewed as a high level summary, to guide
                                                                                     One NorthEast, the emerging Area Tourism Partnership Action
                                                                                     Plans and other partner activities. The Action Plan will be
                                                                                     revised by April 2006.


     Action                                                                          Responsibility                                 Timescale


     Delivery Structure

     Development of One NorthEast Regional Tourism and Marketing Teams       Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team             April 2005
                                                                             and Communications Directorate
     Development of Area Tourism Partnerships and Tourism Network North East Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team             April 2005 - December
     Development of Area Tourism Partnership Action Plans                    Lead - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships              2007
                                                                             Support - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team          April 2005 - April 2006


     Tourism Marketing

     Develop & implement a Regional Tourism Marketing Plan targeting the             Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism          Developed by May
     visitors described, based on the motivational needs of our customers and        Team/Communications Directorate                2005 and revised
     taking full account of the Regional Image Strategy, future emerging             Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships
     opportunities and themes
     Negotiation of regional and sub regionally led tourism campaigns with           Jointly - One NorthEast Regional Tourism       From April 2005
     emerging Area Tourism Partnerships                                              Team/Communications Directorate and emerging
                                                                                     Area Tourism Partnerships
     Identify “established” and “developing” products to support the Regional        Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism          April 2005 and
     Tourism Marketing Plan                                                          Team/Communications Directorate                revisited through
                                                                                     Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships   Regional Image
                                                                                                                                    Strategy monitoring
     Work closely with Visit Britain and Northern Way partners (North West           Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism          From January 2005
     Development Agency and Yorkshire Forward) to promote the region                 Team/Communications Directorate                onwards
     overseas through the development of “England’s North Country”                   Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships


     Information and Visitor Services

     Establish a Regional Information Management Programme serving the               Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team     April 2005
     North East as a cost effective tourism information resource
     Development and implementation of an integrated North East Visitor              Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team     Commencing April
     Information Network and a Visitor Contact Plan                                                                                 2005
     Co-ordinate, identify and fill gaps in visitor information covering leaflets,   Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team     Commencing April
     brochures, maps and public transport timetables, facilities, attractions,       Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships   2005
     events, eating out etc.                                                         and other stakeholders as appropriate
     Develop an ICT based infrastructure for regional organizations, tourism         Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team     Phase 2 launched
     destinations and businesses to enable joint marketing and visitor service                                                      January 2005
     initiatives                                                                                                                    Phase 3 designed by
                                                                                                                                    December 2005
                                                                                                                                    Phase 3 launched by
                                                                                                                                    December 2006
     Invest in leading edge ICT Tourism Infrastructure, Electronic Tourism           Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team     April 2006
     Gateways and tourist information hubs at airports, ports and road entry
     points during 2005-2008
Action                                                                        Responsibiity                                   Timescale
                                                                                                                                                      33
Activities, Attractions and Experiences

Identification of magnet and potential new magnet attractions (within Area   Lead - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships        April 2006
Tourism Partnership Action Plans)                                            Support - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team
Develop Festivals and Events Framework as opportunities to increase          Lead - One NorthEast Culture Team                January 2005 onwards
visitor numbers - linked into emerging Area Tourism Partnership Action       Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships
Plans                                                                        b re
Investigate ways of improving the quality of existing eating establishments  Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team       April 2005 onwards
and increasing the profile of the North East’s gastronomic offer             Support - One NorthEast Food and drink cluster
                                                                             and Rural & Environment Teams, local suppliers
Maximise opportunities for tourism linked to retail improvement initiatives  Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team       April 2005 onwards
Develop Regional Conference and Exhibition Centre, assess sites, feasibility Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships
and funding packages                                                         Lead - One NorthEast Regeneration Team with      On going
                                                                             sub regional partnerships
Work closely with the history and heritage sector to support its             Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism and        On going
development and increase its capacity to meet visitor expectations whilst Culture Teams
maintaining its integrity
Improve the quality of the visitor experience at attractions by advocating   Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team       On going
participation in national quality schemes                                    Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships


Accommodation

Prepare and implement sub-regional evidenced based prospectuses               Lead - One NorthEast and sub regional inward    January 2005 onwards
highlighting potential demand and prime sites                                 investment teams
Promote the importance and uptake of quality schemes including specialist     Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team      From January 2005
and environmental schemes                                                     and emerging Area Tourism Partnerships


Business and Workforce Development

Development of Tourism Workforce Development Plan                             Lead - North East Tourism Skills Alliance       Plan complete by
                                                                                                                              March 2005
                                                                                                                              Implementation from
                                                                                                                              April 2005
Ensure that the business brokerage model is relevant and accessible to        Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team      Initiate January 2005
tourism businesses and that appropriately qualified and experienced           (initially)                                     Completed by
advisors are integrated into the Business Support Network and emerging        Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships once         December 2007
Area Tourism Partnerships                                                     established
Develop and strengthen effective tourism networks                             Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team      From April 2005 and
                                                                              (initially)                                     on going
                                                                              Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships once
                                                                              established
Integrated Transport Infrastructure

Influence public transport and traffic management debates from a tourism      Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team      From January 2005
perspective                                                                   Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships    and on going
Develop an investment plan for maintaining footpaths, bridleways, cycle-      Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team      April 2006
ways and associated facilities to meet the needs of visitors                  Support - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships
Develop a regional tourism signage framework                                  Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team      September 2005
                                                                              Support - Private sector, Area Tourism          Implementation on
                                                                              Partnerships and Highways Agency                going
Development of tourism investment priorities for transport gateways           Lead - One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team      September 2005
throughout the region taking into account cross border co-operation


Planning and the Environment

Influence strategy and policy decisions from a tourism perspective in cities, Lead - One North East Regional Tourism Team     January 2005 onwards
town, rural and coastal areas
Ensure development and implementation of visitor management plans for Lead - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships               April 2006
protected areas and attractions                                               Support - One North East Regional Tourism
                                                                              Team
Engage with key stakeholders responsible for public realm management to Lead - Emerging Area Tourism Partnerships             April 2006
ensure the needs of visitors and tourist businesses are reflected



                                                                                                                          final report
34

     Annex 1 North East Tourism Advisory Board:
             Terms of Reference (excerpt)




               1.1 The specific duties of the NETA Board shall be :

                                                       1.1.1 to investigate activities in relation to the
                                                             implementation of the Tourism Strategy
                                                             for the region

                                                       1.1.2 to oversee the implementation of the
                                                             Priority Action Plans for Tourism

                                                       1.1.3 to oversee the delivery of outputs and
                                                             outcomes against the budget within the
                                                             Corporate Plan

                                                       1.1.4 to receive and consider recommend-
                                                             ations from research and development
                                                             activities relating to the Tourism Agenda

                                                       1.1.5 to provide strategic guidance based on
                                                             the NETA Boards consideration of best
                                                             practice in the industry

               1.1.6 to offer guidance on the profile of Tourism, as a growth sector with
                     considerable economic impact, with the intention that this be communicated
                     effectively and consistently throughout the region

               1.1.7 to make strategic recommendations with regards to appropriate structures for
                     the delivery of Tourism within a destination framework

               1.1.8 to oversee the Tourism Team and its procedures for compliance with all
                     financial and procurement requirements of the Agency

               1.1.9 to act as the authoritative regional voice for Tourism

               1.1.10 to progress effective linkages with the Regional Network Board and BLO’s to
                      develop a public understanding of the regional requirements for Tourism

               1.1.11 to provide a report to the Agency’s Board each year on the activities and
                      progress of the NETA Board or as requested by the Agency’s Board

               1.1.12 to examine the Regional Tourism Strategy and to comment upon the Regional
                      Image Strategy and the Regional Economic Strategy to the extent that this
                      impacts on regional tourism

               1.1.13 to ensure appropriate links are established and maintained with national and
                      international tourism organisations
                                                                                                                      35

Annex 2 Investment Impact Assessment                                                                     North East
                     Guidelines
                                                                                                   Tourism Strategy

 The guiding principles which we will use to assess existing and emerging
 magnet attractions are:

 Appropriate Sources of Evidence for Existing Activities, Attractions and
 Experiences

 ●   Visitor surveys that reveal a substantial proportion of visitors come from outside the
     region and show their expenditure in the area they are visiting. Examples: Alnwick
     Garden and Hadrian’s Wall surveys 2003

 ●   Any out-of-region research that demonstrates the appeal or pulling power of the
     attraction in stimulating a holiday or day visit choice. The research could be focus
     groups or quantitative but must be with external audiences. Examples: MORI, any
     concept testing done by attractions such as for Hadrian’s Wall Major Study

 ●   Evidence of significant marketing support which is focussed on targeting out-of-
     region visitors before they come into the region, i.e. the marketing effort is not
     restricted to that which is pitched at visitors who have already arrived in the region
     and are choosing between the attractions they find on arrival. This type of
     marketing activity leads to displacement, which may not be supported with public
     money. Such “post-arrival” marketing is perfectly acceptable as a support to out-
     of-region promotion but should not be the only or main marketing activity

 ●   Ideally, evidence that the profile of the projected visitors fits some or all of the
     North East Tourism Strategy economic objectives, particularly those regarding
     higher spend visitors and out of season appeal.

 Recognising that some attractions are in development or have the capacity to
 grow to be magnet attractions, the following are:

 Appropriate Sources of Evidence for Emerging Activities, Attractions and
 Experiences

 ●   Is this a concept that has as a first principle it’s ability to attract new visitors to the
     region?

 ●   Is there any out-of-region research that demonstrates the appeal or pulling power
     of the attraction in stimulating a holiday, business or day visit decision? The
     research could be focus groups or quantitative but must be with external
     audiences.

 ●   Is there a business plan which includes a demand appraisal with a visitor model
     setting out the source and type of visitors likely to be drawn to the attraction every
     year?

 ●   What is the evidence to support the assumptions in the visitor model?

 ●   Does the marketing plan and budget demonstrate that the projections for visitor
     numbers are not just based on displacement of the current regional visitor base?




                                                                                                       final report
36
     ●   Ideally, does evidence exist that the profile of the projected visitors fits some or all
         of the North East Tourism Strategy economic objectives, particularly those
         regarding higher spend visitors and out of season appeal?

     ●   If a proposed attraction is part of a national set of products under an umbrella
         brand, such as English Heritage or a national museum, where is the evidence that
         the new product will have its own local marketing support targeting out of region
         visitors and will not just be part of a national campaign for the whole estate?

     Other Attractions

     Many of the region’s attractions will not meet the criteria for a magnet attraction. Yet
     they enhance the mix of “things to do” while on holiday and/or servicing the
     entertainment, cultural, recreational or educational needs of the local or day visitor
     markets.

     If these other attractions are seeking public investment, it will be necessary to outline
     the rationale for the development and its contribution to the visitor economy and how
     it fits with the North East Tourism Strategy objectives. This should include evidence of
     demand, with a visitor model of the main market segments showing the accessibility
     of each segment and why they would come, supported by a catchment analysis,
     consumer and trade research, statements of intent from educational authorities etc.
     Also, assumptions on distance travelled should be based on evidence such as the
     Leisure Day Visits survey or similar survey data.

     All Attractions - Long-term Sustainability

     Long-term sustainability is not just a question of meeting magnet attraction status but
     of having the ingredients of an enduring product that can weather the fluctuations in
     demand, which are typical in the tourism market. These ingredients are:

     Demand-side

     ●   The existence of demand, year after year. If the candidate product has a built-in
         repeat business factor, this should be demonstrated. If it has not, the ability to
         replace its market every year needs to be demonstrated

     ●   Consumer acceptance of the admission prices and other charges critical to the
         income stream

     Supply-side

     ●   The presence of a management track record in the critical areas of operations,
         financial control and marketing

     ●   Evidence that the physical product has been designed with the right capacity for
         peak use

     ●   The availability of funding for keeping the product competitive and refreshing its
         novelty values over time

     Finance

     ●   A profit and loss illustration showing that revenues will cover operating costs year
         on year, OR

     ●   Existence of a commitment to revenue funding which will cover the operating
         deficit

     ●   A life-cycle maintenance fund, a commitment from a third party or endowment fund
         to finance future capital requirements
      North East
Tourism Strategy




    final report
Contact details


One NorthEast Regional Tourism Team
Stella House
Goldcrest Way
Newburn Riverside
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 8NY
T 0191 229 6200
F 0191 229 6201
E tourism@onenortheast.co.uk




www.onenortheast.co.uk

								
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