Industry News April 2012
National survey says…
VisitEngland, the national tourist board, recently released figures revealing that over 104 million domestic overnight trips were taken in England last year – an increase of 9% compared to 2010 and the highest number of trips since the survey began in 2006.
Total spend rose by 13% year on year, representing almost £18bn. Holiday trips in particular grew by 6% to 46 million, and holiday spend hit £10bn; an increase of 11% from 2010. This is the third consecutive year since 2009 that the number of domestic holiday trips has remained above pre-recession levels, indicating that the ‘staycation’ trend is still holding strong.
In terms of location type, 2011 saw an increase across the board – domestic overnight trips to towns, cities and the countryside were all up by just under 14% each compared to 2010, while trips to the seaside were up by just over 11%.
Business trips and trips to visit friends and relatives also showed recovery this year after a number of years of decline, with an increase of 15% and 10% respectively. However, neither trip type has regained the peak volumes recorded in 2006, before the onset of the recession.
The national tourist board also released the latest wave of its ‘Staycation Tracker’ research this month, which revealed that the majority of UK residents who took a holiday at home in 2011 had a positive overall experience, 85% reporting it as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. Value for money was also rated highly, with 78% of those polled saying their holiday in England offered ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ value. Looking forward, the number of trips taken is expected to be broadly similar in 2012 as in 2011; beyond 2012 the positive domestic holiday experience means that almost half expect they will take more domestic breaks than they used to before the recession.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive, said: “2011 was the third consecutive year that the number of domestic overnight trips taken in England has been above pre-recession levels. This, coupled with our recent day visits research which revealed that 1.3 billion domestic day trips were taken in England last year, clearly demonstrates that Brits are increasingly inspired to discover the fantastic destination on their doorstep.”
Back for its seventh year, SummerTyne Americana Festival is one of the most important annual Americana events in Europe, attracting visitors from across the world for a sizzling celebration of Americana music in and around the spectacular setting of The Sage Gateshead.
As general director, Anthony Sargent, explains: “The Sage Gateshead’s SummerTyne Americana Festival has now become a firm annual fixture in the calendars of Americana lovers – this year we’re looking forward to welcoming them all back to another celebration of this uniquely distinctive musical treasure trove.”
This year’s highlights include the legendary Americana star John Hiatt & The Combo. Having been nominated for several Grammy awards and released eighteen studio albums, Hiatt remains one of America’s most influential singer songwriters. Over a career spanning nearly four decades his songs have been covered by a staggering array of artists from Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton right through to Chaka Khan and Iggy Pop.
Also confirmed is legendary queen of rockabilly Wanda Jackson; the first female rock ‘n’ roll star, she recently enjoyed a career revival with honours from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Americana Awards. Her supporters include Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Jack White. Wanda worked with Jack on her latest release ‘The Party Ain't Over’. She remains a unique live artist and will be supported by the sunny sounds of Jenny O.
Throughout the weekend there will be music from Darrell Scott, a multi-talented American musician and singer songwriter whose profile has increased dramatically since his key role as part of Robert Plant's ‘Band Of Joy’ in 2011; Michael Chapman, a remarkable British singer and guitarist with significant American influences; Lera Lynn, singer songwriter from Athens, Georgia, who has been acclaimed as one of the brightest new names in Americana; hip-shaking rhythm and soul band Vintage Trouble supported by American soul singer and songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols; plus there will be the exuberant southwest Louisiana's Pine Leaf Boys Cajun dance.
SummerTyne Americana Festival is an annual celebration of Americana music and has attracted internationally acclaimed stars such as Lyle Lovett, Irma Thomas, Raul Malo, Rosanne Cash, and Solomon Burke. One of the most popular features of SummerTyne Americana Festival is the Jumpin’ Hot free outdoor stage where you can settle in with a margarita for the best in country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Or join the best regional artists for an afternoon of sizzling music with the free SummerTyne HomeFries outdoor stage.
Enjoy a lazy sunny afternoon on the musical SummerTyne Boat for a cruise down the Tyne with live performances from some special festival guests on board. There will also be Americana inspired food and margaritas galore from the SummerTyne Street Kitchen.
Once again The Sage Gateshead is proud to be working in association with The Americana Music Association.
SummerTyne Americana Festival has been granted the Inspire mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme.
The North East region has launched a website with information about all things to do with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in North East England.
NewcastleGateshead is featured strongly on the website, particularly as Newcastle is an Olympic Host City with nine Olympic Football matches, including two quarter finals, at St. James’ Park; the Olympic Torch Relay is coming to NewcastleGateshead over two days in June; there are many Cultural Olympiad events in NewcastleGateshead; and both Newcastle and Gateshead Councils are running healthier lifestyle participative programmes – Active 500 and Going for Gold respectively.
The website features everything people living in, working in or visiting the region could wish to know about the Games in the North East, including information about the Olympic football matches, maps for the Torch Relay route, a section for businesses, further details – including individual events listings – about the Cultural Olympiad, lots of suggestions for ways to get involved, practical information about road closures and further information for visitors.
Particularly useful for tourism related businesses here is the Flame in the North East section, which will help businesses to see if the Torch is coming near or past them and at what time, and plan accordingly. www.northeastfor2012games.com
VisitEngland, the national tourist board, is pleased to report the success of the first ever English Tourism Week.
The national initiative was designed to raise the profile and importance of tourism, and showcase the value of the industry to both local communities and the economy. Over 400 special events and promotions took place between 10 March and 18 March, from afternoon teas and cake-baking competitions, to special guided walks and art exhibitions – many of which included promotions from NewcastleGateshead Initiative partners. A full list can be found at: www.enjoyengland.com/English-Tourism-Week/
English Tourism Week was launched with the exciting announcement that HRH The Prince of Wales will be the event’s patron for the next year. Throughout the week, tourism operators up and down the country got involved by putting on special events and activity aimed at reminding local residents of the fantastic wealth of tourism experiences on their doorstep, and encouraging them to become local ambassadors for their home town.
To highlight English Tourism Week, VisitEngland teamed up with the Daily Mirror to find England’s first ever Tourism Superstar – someone who goes the extra mile to make breaks in England extra special. On Saturday 10 March, the winner was announced as Newcastle taxi driver for EastCoast Tours, Alan Fidler; Mr Fidler will receive his accolade at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in Leicester on 22 May.
VisitEngland’s chief executive, James Berresford, celebrated English Tourism Week at the Best of Britain and Ireland show in Birmingham, sitting on the panel of Minister’s Question Time and giving an update on VisitEngland’s activity during 2012; VisitEngland’s Chairman, Lady Cobham, delivered the keynote speech at the Historic Town’s Forum’s National Tourism Conference at Blenheim Palace on 16 March. Highlighting the links between tourism, heritage and culture, the key focus was how to develop innovative and resilient tourism in our historic towns and cities, in spite of the economic climate.
The packed week concluded with Lady Cobham and chairman of English Tourism Week, David Curtis-Brignell, joining the Prime Minister at an English Tourism Week networking event in his constituency of Witney, Oxfordshire. The Rt Hon David Cameron MP highlighted the importance of the tourism industry in driving the economy, as the country’s third-largest export.
Lady Cobham said: “We are delighted with the success of English Tourism Week, and the enthusiastic support it has received. Tourism operators and destination partners across the country have taken the initiative to heart, and come up with an incredible array of imaginative events and promotions, all aimed at highlighting the value of the industry. We hope this week-long celebration has inspired people to become tourism ambassadors for their local area, and we are already looking forward to building on this success for English Tourism Week 2013!”
The lineup for the North East’s legendary culture crawl The Late Shows has been announced with over 50 of the most popular cultural attractions to stay open late for one weekend only.
The Late Shows is set to return, bigger than ever, on 18 May and 19 May, when many of NewcastleGateshead’s cultural venues will open their doors from 7pm until the early hours to entertain nocturnal culture lovers with a range of exhibitions, events and activities.
With DJ sets, hands-on art activities, behind the scenes tours, open studios and short performances all featuring in the lineup, visitors of all ages will be spoilt for choice during this free weekend of late night culture.
The warm-up event for The Late Shows will take place on Friday 18 May with a special programme of events exclusively in the Ouseburn Valley. On 19 May, museums, galleries and heritage sites will stay open late right across NewcastleGateshead.
Bill Griffiths, project manager for The Late Shows, says: “The lineup for this year’s event is more impressive than ever before and we are thrilled that so many venues are taking part. The Late Shows is one of the most popular events in NewcastleGateshead’s cultural calendar and we want visitors to move around the venues and see as much as they possibly can over the weekend.
“We hope that visitors will take this opportunity to try something new, experience their favourite attractions in a different light and discover new places that they’d never thought of visiting before.”
Visitors to the Ouseburn Valley will be able to step into an intriguing cabinet of curiosities at Mushroom Works, take part in a round the world printing challenge at Northern Print or meet some of their favourite characters at Seven Stories.
Visitors to The Late Shows in other areas of NewcastleGateshead can take an exclusive late night tour of the new artwork ~Flow on the River Tyne, explore all things sci-fi with creative activities and interactive workshops at The Shed, or practice their circus skills at Discovery Museum.
New additions to the lineup for 2012 include the new Toffee Factory, where visitors can join in with a vintage tea party; Bessie Surtees House, where visitors can take a look behind the scenes of this five-storey heritage site; and Moorbank Botantic Garden at Newcastle University, which is offering visitors unique access to the indoor tropical rainforest and desert house.
For visitors who want to stay up even later, The Late Late Shows will return once again with Tyneside Cinema, Star & Shadow Cinema, The Sage Gateshead, World Headquarters and Northern Stage offering special events and discounted tickets from 9pm until the early hours.
Once again, free City Sightseeing buses will link up venues on the Saturday night, making it easier for visitors to experience as many venues as possible.
High Bridge Quarter carnival to be staged
High Bridge in Newcastle is undergoing a renaissance led by some of the area’s independent boutiques and retailers that have served the city well for over a decade.
The street and the surrounding area are now celebrating this heritage and what makes the area unique by staging a street carnival on 21 April. A newly-established High Bridge Quarter Tenants Association has organised the day with support from business improvement district company, NE1 Ltd.
High Bridge has always been a mecca for shoppers in search of independent boutiques, vintage fashion finds, or for music aficionados searching out rare vinyl records. To attract new audiences to experience what the street has to offer, the High Bridge Quarter Tenants Association has banded together to organise a celebratory street carnival.
For eight hours on Saturday 21 April, the street will be thronged with people enjoying a carnival of street entertainment, live bands, global street food, market stalls and stand-up comedy from the award-winning Stand Comedy Store. From 9am – 5pm the street will be buzzing with entertainment, live bands and foods from around the world.
NE1 has worked closely with the tenants association to assist the members in organising the festivities. Commenting on the High Bridge Festival, Tariq Albassam of NE1 Ltd, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into delivering this festival with the aim of bringing the street to life and attracting new audiences to enjoy all that the street and the wider quarter has to offer. High Bridge has a unique offer of independent fashion and music retailers, which play an important part in a vibrant city centre.”
“NE1 was keen to work with the High Bridge tenants to try to emulate other cities that have used markets to breathe new life into independent retail centres, such as Spitalfields Market in London.”
High Bridge Tenants Association chair, Elaine Sinclair said: “High Bridge is an enclave of independent niche boutiques, many that have been around and on the street for over 15 years, it is these shops that give the quarter its unique identity and provide diversity in what is on offer in Newcastle’s retail scene.
“Shops like Union and RPM record store have been trading for over a decade and are destination stores for many visitors to High Bridge Street. The traders association is committed to hosting events like the street festival to celebrate all that is available in the High Bridge Quarter and to welcome a new generation of shoppers to High Bridge."
Cllr Michael Johnson, deputy cabinet member for skills, business and enterprise at Newcastle City Council, said: “Independent retailing is one of the attractions that make Newcastle great to visit. We are committed to the economy and jobs in the city and we are delighted to provide support for this initiative by High Bridge businesses. We hope it proves a great success and will look to use this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with independent retailers.”
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