In 2018 overnight visitor numbers increased by 5.6% to over 1.9m. These visitors spent over £648m, up 6% on the year before and this allowed tourism businesses to increase employment by 6.1% to 15,705 people. Increasing numbers of visitors came outside the summer season to experience our exemplary night skies and often rare wildlife, helping to improve the year round profitability of the industry.
Northumberland offers huge potential and opportunity for those businesses operating and looking to invest in the tourism sector. The destination is steeped in history and beauty; there is an abundance of castles, swathes of countryside, miles of unspoilt beaches, a national park and two outstanding areas of beauty. The natural beauty attracts visitors form across the globe as well as contributing to the county’s high quality of life. With key investment being made into key strategic tourism assets combined with significant natural assets the potential for investors is huge.
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A recognition of the importance of this industry to Northumberland’s economy is evident in Northumberland County Council’s Corporate Plan and the Advance Northumberland Corporate Strategy. Political, corporate and community support for growth are expressed in the county’s rural heartlands. This is for a willingness to use planning, regeneration and legal powers to ensure strategic project delivery.
Skills training for this sector is strong in the North East with both Newcastle and Northumberland Colleges providing Travel & Tourism Courses to Level 3. At Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Zoo students get first-hand experience of a real-life tourism attraction. Further education, both under graduate and post graduate is provided by Sunderland University and Northumbria University, which has a first rate reputation and longest established tourism degree course in the UK.
The Discover our Land campaign aims to celebrate and share Northumberland’s stories and the people of Northumberland and will continue to attract new and returning visitors to experience our unique offer. Please visit the link to understand more about the blossoming tourism offer in Northumberland.