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Visitor Economy

Newcastle is world renowned for its nightlife and leisure offer, with multiple Michelin-rated restaurants in the city and a dynamic mix of attractions and experiences that appeal to visitors from all over the world.

Newcastle is often described as the friendliest place on the planet and the city's tourism and hospitality sector is what brings this reputation to life. Offering access to a range of cultural and heritage assets across North East England, Newcastle is the international gateway to a regional visitor economy that is worth £5.4bn.

Newcastle has been on the global tourism map for a number of years, with international visitors coming to the city to experience a vibrant city centre nightlife scene and explore award-winning coastlines and rolling countryside in close proximity.

The city is the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Northumberland and Durham, Blue Flag beaches along the North East coast and industrial history from Victoria Tunnel to Beamish Museum and Bowes Railway.

Newcastle has developed hotel infrastructure to cater to a variety of tastes, from international brands such as Hilton, INNSiDE by Melia and Crowne Plaza to luxury mansion houses such as Matfen Hall Estate and Jesmond Dene House.

The local food and drink scene is also incredibly diverse with independent restaurateurs and suppliers thriving in the city and providing unique dining experiences to visitors. Newcastle-based chef Kenny Atkinson has two Michelin stars and Blackfriars is believed to be the oldest dining room in the UK.

In the heart of the city is Newcastle United Football Club, which following a £350m takeover led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) in 2021, has been transformed into a powerhouse of English football.  52,000-capacity stadium St James’ Park is sold out every week and since qualifying for UEFA Champions League, the football club is attracting fans from across the globe to the city.

Newcastle is connected to Europe and the wider world by air, rail and sea, with Newcastle International Airport providing links to more than 70 destinations and DFDS providing a ferry link to mainland Europe via Amsterdam. Situated on the East Coast Mainline, Newcastle also offers direct connections to London, Edinburgh and Manchester in under three hours.

One of the key developments set to transform the visitor economy in Newcastle is the new £400m arena and international conference centre on the Gateshead Quays. The 12,500 capacity arena will attract more than 100 shows and concerts a year and the international grade conference centre will include 17 conference suites. It is projected to attract one million visitors annually, create 2,000 jobs and bring a £70 million boost to the regional economy.

Tourism and hospitality is worth £5.4bn to the regional economy of North East England.

Newcastle International Airport has links to over 70 destinations worldwide.

DFDS runs direct passenger and logistics ferries to mainland Europe via Amsterdam.

1.79m bed nights filled in Newcastle and Gateshead in 2022.

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