The final results from Visit County Durham’s three-year national marketing campaign have been announced.
The campaign achieved significant economic impact for the county, generating £30,169,139 worth of additional tourism spend and creating or supporting 560 jobs – far exceeding initial targets set.
Visit County Durham ran a series of domestic marketing campaigns between 2012 and 2014 aimed to inspire UK residents to take more holidays in Durham, by showcasing the county’s great outdoors, fascinating heritage and food & drink. Part of the VisitEngland-led Growing Tourism Locally project, funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), activity included national newspaper supplements, poster advertising across the London Underground and digital billboards at London Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverley - highlighting the very best of the county’s visitor offer.
RGF funding was matched with private sector funding and Visit County Durham worked with partners across the county to deliver maximum return on investment for the campaign.
Michelle Gorman, Managing Director at Visit County Durham, said: “These fantastic results are testament not only to the strength of the county’s tourism offer, but also to the way in which our tourism industry came together to work in partnership. Over 170 Durham businesses took up the opportunity to be part of, and benefit from, the county’s biggest ever marketing campaign. And this partnership continues, with further national marketing campaigns for Durham planned for 2016 which will build upon this success.”
Cllr Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “Tourism is a vital part of Durham’s economy so we’re delighted that these results show just how popular the county is as well as how successful our efforts to encourage people to come here have been.
By continuing to support world class events such as Lumiere, and working closely with our partners across the industry, we can ensure that our offer to visitors - alongside our amazing heritage and breathtaking landscapes - continues to bring people to the county, boosting the economy and creating jobs for local residents.”
Lady Cobham CBE, Chairman of VisitEngland Advisory Board said: “It is fantastic to see the results of the Growing Tourism Locally campaign which is aimed at driving growth, by encouraging Brits to book a short break at home in one of the many wonderful destinations on offer across England. The results speak for themselves. A brilliant result; promoting England as a world-class holiday destination.”
Durham received £450,000 from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) administered by VisitEngland and matched funding to the tune of £210,000 provided by Durham tourism operators and local partners.
Partners in the Visit County Durham campaign were: North Pennines AONB Partnership; Durham Heritage Coast Partnership; Hamsterley Forest; Northumbrian Water; Dalton Park; Beamish Museum; Durham Cathedral; Durham University; Locomotion; The Bowes Museum; Durham County Cricket Club.