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Dynamic leader sought to take tourism forward in Northumberland

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A nation-wide search will be launched for a dynamic leader to take tourism in Northumberland into the future

Visit Northumberland is seeking a Director of Visitor Economy to help take tourism in the county to a new level.

The announcement was made at a high profile event today (THURS) where the Council unveiled a new look brand for Visit Northumberland and an state-of-the-art digital offer to tourism businesses, set to be launched to the public soon.

The recruitment drive follows the joining of forces of Northumberland Tourism with the tourism function at the County Council who are now working together to accelerate and revitalise the support to the visitor economy. This new appointment is required to spearhead tourism and drive the economic recovery of the industry.

The Visit Northumberland team will initially be headed up by industry leader Maureen McAllister of McAllister and Co who will lead the development of the Visit Northumberland brand and strategy into a new era.

More than 200 tourism businesses joined the high profile industry webinar to hear exclusively about an exciting new brand for the County as well as the new visitor website. This new digital solution has been developed for Northumberland businesses and attractions to offer them enhanced ways of promoting their business plus an additional booking offer, together with a first class digital experience for visitors and residents, all aimed at showcasing the endless experiences that Northumberland has to offer both for local, regional, national and international visitors.

Industry leaders including Patricia Yates, Deputy CEO and Director of Strategy of Visit Britain; Bernard Donoghue, Director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and Kurt Janson, Director of Tourism Alliance also updated tourism businesses on how they see the industry recovering post Covid19 and what businesses can do to ensure their future prosperity.

VisitBritain, Director Patricia Yates said: “It is fantastic to see this collaboration across the industry in Northumberland to get tourism back on its feet, and the digital innovation and product development to support businesses drive both domestic and international bookings, attracting future visitors and boosting the economy.”

Investment in these developments, as well as funding from the North of Tyne Combined Authority COVID19 Capacity Fund, will allow a number of new initiatives including a free enhanced listing for up to 1,300 businesses on the website and major advertising and marketing opportunities on a national and international scale.

Cllr Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts, Leisure and Tourism said “As lockdown measures continue to ease, now is the time for Northumberland to take forward its ambitious plans to be a world-leading visitor destination.
“In order to achieve this we need a strong leader at the helm who can head up a new brand and take tourism in the county to a new level. We are looking for someone to lead Visit Northumberland with the same passion that we have, and this is a great time for an experienced industry leader to join us following on from Maureen’s great start to championing tourism for the county.”

Cllr Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “As a Council we are committed to ensuring that our tourism sector comes back stronger than ever.
“To achieve this we need to work in close partnership with our businesses and today’s event was a significant milestone in building confidence with those industry partners to join with us and collectively start banging the drum about what a great place Northumberland is to live, work, invest and visit.”

A recruitment campaign will now get underway, and further details will be published in the next week or so.



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