NewcastleGateshead conference Ambassador Launch
Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

Convention Bureau brings £11.6m boost to the North East

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau has reported a strong year for business tourism with meetings and events secured by the bureau in the last financial year (2014-15) worth an estimated £11.6 million to the North East economy.

Business secured by the bureau includes national and international association meetings worth over £6m to the local economy, academic meetings valued at £2.5m and corporate meetings and events standing at £1.6m.

Among the wins are high profile conferences and events such as the National Tourism Awards, Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference, The British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference 2015 and The 13th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, bringing a steady stream of business visitors to NewcastleGateshead up to 2017.

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “It’s a fantastic result from a great year’s work by our dedicated team.

“Over the past 12 months we’ve introduced a smarter business tourism strategy that’s intrinsically linked with the area’s inward investment strategy and focuses on three key sectors: Creative & Digital, Marine & Offshore, and Science and Health - all areas where we have economic strengths and academic excellence at our universities.

“Our Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP) - which works with academics, researchers, and medical and business professionals to bid for and stage events – was relaunched in 2014 working in partnership with Newcastle University.

“Engaging with new ambassadors helped us to attract more association meetings and events, and we’ll continue to work with them as well as Northumbria and Sunderland Universities throughout 2015 to maximise the vast opportunities in this market.

“We’ve continued to position NewcastleGateshead as the ‘delegate experience capital’ and it’s this, as well as our warm Geordie welcome, that sets us apart from other business tourism destinations in a competitive market place.”

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