TOURISM bosses in Northumberland have lined up a campaign which it is hoped could pump more than £4m into the county’s economy.
Northumberland Tourism is planning a national campaign which it hopes will draw in over 6,000 visitors, who will spend money in the county, boosting the economy and creating over 100 jobs.
Northumberland: Our Historic Spirit will promote some of the events lined up in the region this year.
Bosses at the organisation last night said they hoped it would provide a shot in the arm to tourism in the county following a tough period.
The campaign will run in February and March with adverts in national newspapers and online.
These will highlight some of the events taking place in 2013, including the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, the visit of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the region and the 150th anniversary of the building of Cragside House.
Adverts will encourage people to log on to www.visitnorthumberland.com
There they can enter competitions where the prizes will include stays at county bed and breakfasts and hotels, some of which will come as packages alongside activities like wildlife tours.
Tourism businesses have offered the stays free of charge.
The website will also allow visitors to find out about Northumberland’s diverse holiday offer. The campaign will also be supported by public relations and social media activity.
The push is part of a three-year campaign which aims to increase visitor numbers and visitor spend in Northumberland by 6%.
This figure was set by organisation bosses in a quest to get the industry back to pre-2010 levels, before the recession, its own funding cuts following the demise of regional development agency One NorthEast and periods of bad weather.
The Government’s Regional Growth Fund through Visit England has provided £375,000 for the three years, £120,000 of which is for 2013.
Campaigns will be launched over the three years, including annual autumn pushes to draw in visitors over the traditionally quiet off season.
Tourism bosses hope the 2013 effort will bring £4,208,371 into the county, based on research by the organisation in 2011/12.
Jude Leitch, tourism development manager at Northumberland Tourism, last night said: “The regional growth fund and the ability to do a campaign like this is a real godsend.
“We are very pleased that it is going to be happening and it is going to make a big difference.
“Given the absolutely awful year this industry has had with the recession and the weather, we are hoping this will provide a shot in the arm and tell people about the county.”
Meanwhile, Northumberland County Council has assured tourism businesses in Berwick that the town’s tourist information centre is not on the move, after learning of “information circulating to businesses” in the community.
Stacey Burlet, head of customer services and culture at the council, said: “There are currently no plans to relocate Berwick tourist information centre into the library as part of the programme to offer customers access to a range of front-office services under one roof.”