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Industry News

Businesses back Tourism Awards

Businesses across the region are supporting the North East England Tourism Awards 2014; University of Sunderland and Northumbrian Water are confirmed as headline event sponsors for the 11 November ceremony at the Stadium of Light.

Joanne Hannah, Head of Commercial Services at University of Sunderland, said: “Sponsoring the North East England Tourism Awards is a fantastic opportunity to show our support for an industry that provides many of our graduates with exciting career opportunities.”

Offering a range of undergraduate and post-graduate courses in tourism and event management, students from the University of Sunderland will also be involved in the delivery of the event gaining valuable hands-on experience working with a range of event management and delivery companies including Hi-Lights audio-visual and 1879, the Stadium of Light’s in-house catering providers.

Joanne added; “I’m delighted that many of our students will have the chance to get involved with the awards too. It will give them the opportunity to put into practice many of the skills they learn whilst studying with us, and likewise gives them direct access to some wonderful case studies of tourism best practice in the region.”

David Hall, Head of Leisure, Strategy and Transformation at Northumbrian Water, said: “Northumbrian Water is delighted to sponsor the North East England Tourism Awards for the second year running.

“As the lead partner in the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, tourism is hugely important to us. We’re proud that Leaplish Waterside Park won gold in the holiday village category in 2013, and likewise to have won Best Tourism Experience at both the North East England Tourism Awards 2012 and the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in 2013.

“The North East England Tourism Awards are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase their product and provide a focus for improvement in quality for visitors to the North East.”

The Awards are organised and delivered by destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative on behalf of the Northern Tourism Alliance, a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We’re delighted to be holding the North East England Tourism Awards in Sunderland this year working with a range of our partners across the region. The Awards are a fantastic way to not only celebrate success, but provide an opportunity to showcase the best of what’s on offer in the region, with winners having the chance to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards.”

Entries to the North East England Tourism Awards closed on Friday 5 September and shortlisting is currently underway. For more information about the North East England Tourism Awards, see www.NorthEastTourismAwards.com

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North East shines across Heathrow

£1m worth of VisitBritain adverts across Heathrow Airport - showcasing some of the North East’s most iconic attractions – have gone live. The campaign was secured for the region following a hard-fought social media competition earlier this year.

For two weeks in July, members of the public were invited to go to the Heathrow Facebook page where the YourGreatBritain competition saw a gallery of four stunning images from four different regions. The competition saw the North East go up against the North West, Northern Ireland and the Midlands - resulting in over 40,000 votes in total.

With around 13 million passengers a year already using Heathrow as their gateway to Britain’s regions, the five promotional GREAT campaign images of the North East will be live across digital screens in all terminals at Heathrow from today for three months. These striking images illustrate the outstanding beauty of the region and feature stunning photography of Bamburgh Castle, Durham Cathedral, Hadrian’s Wall, Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside and the Angel of the North.

The images will make up the third round of advertising in an ongoing 12-month partnership with VisitBritain. Heathrow has granted the national tourism agency free advertising throughout the airport worth £4 million, over the course of a year, to help promote Britain’s nations and regions. The aim is to inspire visitors passing through the airport to explore further afield during their visit, or on future trips. From March until May, the previously flood hit areas of Devon, Cornwall, Llanddwyn Island (Wales Coast Path) and Glastonbury were showcased, followed by Yorkshire from June to August.

John Holland Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO said: “We were gripped by the YourGreatBritain competition and the head to head finish was particularly exciting. It was fantastic to see the passion of the people of the North East and how they really got behind the competition, resulting in over 19,000 votes for the breath taking image of Hadrian’s Wall. In total over 40,000 votes were received for all four regions so the North East should be delighted with these stunning images that will feature across the UK’s only hub airport for the next three months. Heathrow is the gateway to Britain and sees around 73 million passengers a year travel through the airport. With seven flights a day from Heathrow to Newcastle we hope the images will inspire passengers to explore the beautiful North East during their visit to the UK."

Tourism Minister, Helen Grant, said: “Congratulations to the North East for getting behind their region and winning the Your Great Britain campaign. The UK has so much to offer tourists - spectacular scenery, world class museums, fantastic sport, theatre and welcoming people. With millions of passengers passing through Heathrow airport as their gateway to Britain’s regions this is an ideal location to showcase the wonderful attractions of the North East.”

North East Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, James Ramsbotham, said: “The iconic images that have been selected showcase the North East at its beautiful best. We were delighted to all play our part in this successful competition and grateful to Heathrow and VisitBritain for providing a national platform to celebrate all that is great about our glorious region. What we are saying now is come and see the North East for yourself; whether you are an investor or a visitor and you will be more than pleasantly surprised.

“Our unique blend of rural, cosmopolitan and industrial areas makes the North East a very special region indeed. The award winning beaches, castles, vibrant city breaks, historic world heritage sites and stately homes – not to mention our fabulous sporting teams – offer a visitor experience and quality of life that is enviable by any standards.”

Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain, said: “Thank you to all the local tourism and non-tourism bodies that got behind this campaign – the incredible response surpassed our expectations. The North East definitely earned its prize, with the whole region showing its support. We have showcased as much of the region as possible in the winning images going up at Heathrow, which demonstrate the North East’s breadth and depth of culture, history, architecture and natural beauty.”

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Rugby World Cup ballot opens

As Newcastle gears up to host three high profile Rugby World Cup matches next year at St James’ Park, tickets are now on sale via an online ballot system. The application window runs until 29 September 2014.

Up to one million tickets across 48 matches of Rugby World Cup 2015 went on sale to the general public in the UK and around the world last Friday (12 September). Tickets will be priced in four categories for all matches, starting at £15 for adults. Child tickets, priced from £7, will be available for 41 matches.

Tickets are being sold online via the official Rugby World Cup 2015 ticketing website tickets.rugbyworldcup.com. Fans will need to create an account on the website in order to apply, and can apply for up to four tickets per match. For 15 of the 48 fixtures each individual can apply for up to 15 tickets.

Tickets will not be sold on a first come, first served basis. Fans can apply for tickets at any point between September 12 and 29. The application window closes at 18:00 (BST) on Monday September 29, 2014. Oversubscribed matches and price categories will go to ballot to ensure fair allocation and fans will be advised of the tickets they have successfully been allocated in October, 2014.

The easy-to-use ticketing platform – tickets.rugbyworldcup.com - incorporates a number of tools to help fans. The new ‘Match Manager’ tool allows fans to limit their spend by submitting an application for several matches but capping the number of matches they can be allocated. Fans can also opt to be allocated tickets at the next highest price category in the event that tickets at their selected category are oversubscribed or unavailable. Use of both tools is optional.

To help guide people while making their choices, there will be a ‘traffic light’ indicator system on the website to show which matches are receiving a lot of applications and are likely to go to ballot.

Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015 Debbie Jevans said: “This is an exciting moment as up to one million tickets go on sale for Rugby World Cup 2015. As we approach a year to go, it’s the moment that rugby fans all around the world have been waiting for.

“We have worked hard to develop a ticketing system which makes the application process easy and efficient as possible, and offers flexibility to fans. Fans have 17 days to apply, so there is no rush and they should take time to consider what they would like to purchase.

“With prices starting at £15 for adults and £7 for children, it’s a fantastic opportunity to watch the world’s top teams play in some of the best venues in England and Cardiff.”

Applicants will be informed of which tickets they have been successful in purchasing in October. Any remaining tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis from November.

To avoid ticket fraud, fans must only buy from official sources. Only tickets purchased at tickets.rugbyworldcup.com or through the official travel and hospitality programmes will guarantee entry to Rugby World Cup 2015 matches. England Rugby 2015 will launch an official re-sale platform next year to enable customers to sell any unwanted tickets at face value to fans.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 ‘Too Big To Miss’ ticketing campaign launched at the start of September with an ‘ultimate team talk’ video starring Charles Dance and a host of famous rugby faces. The video has now been watched by nearly two million people. The film is part of an integrated marketing and PR campaign which includes a mix of regional, national and international print, digital, outdoor, social media advertising, and a city dressing programme in each of the 11 host cities.

The general sale follows the successful rugby community ticket sales campaign in England and Wales in May. Official supporter tours and official hospitality packages went on sale at the start of the year and have seen strong sales around the world.

The tournament will be played in 13 venues across England, and in Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium, and will see the world’s best 20 teams compete in a celebration of rugby for the sport’s ultimate prize – the Webb Ellis Cup. Rugby World Cup 2015 commences on September 18, 2015, and concludes with the final at Twickenham on October 31, 2015.

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