North East England Chamber of Commerce members heard the substantial increase tourism brings to the region’s economy at its Quarterly Economic Survey launch at the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle.
NGI Solutions, head of insight, Ian Thomas revealed the initial assessment of visitor figures for Great Exhibition of the North were 4 million with hotel occupancy in Newcastle the highest on record.
He said: “We have benefited from a tremendous summer of events here in the North East from the Great Exhibition of the North, Sunderland’s Tall Ships and Kynren. The benefit of these huge attractions was particularly seen with the Ed Sheeran concert at St James Park, where hotel occupancy from Friday to Sunday was up to 98%.
“Our research also shows people come for our region for the night life, retail sector and the Premiership football continues to be a draw for international visitors.”
His presentation also set out the statistics for 2017 visitors which numbered over 17 million, bringing in £1.4 billion and sustaining over 18,000 jobs.
He said: “The tourism and hospitality sector is flying in our region with 27 new ventures in Newcastle alone including new hotels and bars such as the River Brew Co. on Gateshead’s Quayside. Our ambition to grow and add value to our economy continues next summer with the Rugby Champions Cup in Newcastle, Cricket World Cup at Durham Riverside and World Transplant Games.
The Chamber Quarterly Economic Survey findings for Quarter 3 showed growth continuing to slow down a big downturn in export sales with Brexit energy and red tape among rising concerns.