1 March 2023
NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) hosted its first travel trade visit with delegates from the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and The United Arab Emirates.
In February this year, NGI hosted 11 leading Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) in partnership with VisitBritain, in a visit designed to showcase the best product, accommodation and experiences that the North East has to offer international markets.
The 4-day visit included hospitality from Khai Khai, Fuego at Fenwick, Blackfriars, The Potted Lobster and Hjem in Northumberland, as well as tours of Sage Gateshead, Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle and Garden.
The group experienced a variety of bookable products throughout their stay, including star gazing at Battlesteads, guided tours from Lundgren Tours and Northern Secrets, and witnessed the buzzing atmosphere of a NUFC game at St. James’ Park.
Jen Rea, Head of Business Events and Travel Trade at NGI, said:
“We were delighted to welcome the travel trade delegates to the North East and worked hard with partners across the region to extend our famous Geordie welcome.
“We know from extensive research, that international visitors spend up to four times more than any other visitor. The aim of this educational trip, and the many more to come, is to attract more international visitors, and drive spend at our attractions, bookable experiences, flights and accommodation, enabling more investment and growth into our visitor economy.
“The GCC is a brand new market for us as a region and the trip was invaluable in not only educating leading travel agents on what the North East has to offer their clients, but also as a learning curve for partners and ourselves on the booking behaviours and consumer habits of this new customer base.
“I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in this successful first trip, it would not have been possible without the dedication, passion and hospitality of our partners and colleagues across the region.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our work within this exciting international market and working alongside our partners in promoting the North East on a global scale.”