Visitors flock to discover county’s historic spirit

A NATIONAL campaign to bring more visitors to Northumberland has been hailed a success.

The Northumberland Historic Spirit marketing drive took place last year to encourage people to visit the county in a year packed with historical events.

They included Morpeth’s Emily Inspires project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Northumberland Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

The £160,000 marketing campaign was part of VisitEngland’s three-year Growing Tourism Locally programme, funded by the Regional Growth Fund.

Campaign adverts used inspiring imagery and cheeky strap-lines. A total of 81 per cent of people surveyed said they liked the adverts and 67 per cent said they made them more likely to consider Northumberland as a holiday destination.

Now it has been estimated that the promotion inspired significant numbers of new visitors to come to the area, who spent a total of £4.3million during their stay.

VisitEngland estimates that the additional spend will enable the local tourism industry to generate 82 new jobs.

Jude Leitch, of Northumberland Tourism, said: “Northumberland is often considered a ‘hidden gem’. We want to change that and introduce as many UK visitors as possible to our spectacular scenery, interesting attractions and fascinating stories.

“We need to let people know just how much there is to do in Northumberland and how easy we are to reach, and these campaigns help us to do that.”

A Northumberland Active Spirit campaign will begin next month to introduce visitors to the variety of activities available in the county.