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Tourism businesses urged to aim for the stars at 2014 Awards

With the Queen’s Baton making its way around the region today, tourism once again came under starter’s orders as the region’s businesses were urged to celebrate their success and apply to the North East England Tourism Awards 2014.

Speaking at a NewcastleGateshead Initiative partner meeting at Gateshead International Stadium today, Louise Stewart, Director of Strategy and Development at VisitEngland said: “The North East England Tourism Awards provide a great opportunity for businesses to celebrate their success and to have their achievements acknowledged. The sector is an important part of the economy of North East England supporting 54,000 jobs. The awards provide a platform to remind everyone that the tourism industry is a key part of the continued success of the region.

“Furthermore, they give winners the chance to promote the many outstanding experiences they offer, and for those who go on to compete nationally at VisitEngland’s Excellence Awards, the opportunity to elevate this on the national stage.”

This year’s awards, which are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance and local authorities across the region, will take place on 11 November 2014 at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved as a region in working together to deliver the North East England Tourism Awards. It’s testament to our commitment as an industry that we’re able to once again showcase and celebrate tourism by working with our colleagues in Durham, Northumberland and wider Tyne & Wear to judge and promote the Awards.

“With Rugby World Cup 2015 matches taking place at St James’ Park next year, now is the time for us to really celebrate what we have to offer in the North East and ensure the thousands of international rugby fans destined for England have a compelling reason to spend time here before and after matches.

“I am delighted too, that this year the awards will take place at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, which itself is a visitor hotspot, not just in attracting football fans but also music fans with their successful programme of concerts.”

Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director at Sunderland AFC and 1879 Events Management, said: “Sunderland AFC and 1879 Events Management is honoured to host the North East England Tourism Awards 2014 at the Stadium of Light. As a venue we welcome thousands of outside visitors every year and understand the importance of tourism to our regional economy.

“Through 1879 we work on a wide range of events which boost tourism across the North East including our operations at the National Glass Centre, various business dinners, Sound Waves music festival and leading LGBT festival Newcastle Pride to mention just a few.

“Hosting the awards is an absolute privilege but also a perfect match. As one of the North East’s most iconic venues, the Stadium of Light has had a huge impact on tourism in the region in recent years and we look forward to welcoming the region’s most innovative businesses to our venue in November.”

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