A new campaign to help smaller tourism-related businesses reach new audiences is being launched with the help of funding from the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NCTA).

The New Adventures campaign is being delivered on behalf of NTCA by Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI), North Tyneside Council and Visit Northumberland, as part of their £3.5m Tourism and Events Programme.

The project is designed to bring together new and existing tourism products and market them under three distinct campaign strands of Active Pursuits, Food and Drink, and Winter Escapes with the aim of tapping into new markets or expanding on existing consumer bases.

A free series of tourism training events are set to take begin on Tuesday 26 April to introduce businesses to experiential tourism and explore the essential ingredients needed to develop bookable visitor experiences.

The sessions, led by Experiential Tourism Advisor Chris Brant from Unmissable England, will provide expert practical advice and guidance to create experiences that tell the story of the people and place, giving visitors memorable travel adventures that are personal, engage the senses and make connections on an emotional level.

Ian Thomas, Destination Director at NGI, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the diversity of experiences that visitors can take part in when they come to our region and to develop new and innovative ones with local SMEs. Driving visitor numbers and footfall is crucial in our economic recovery, and this campaign will demonstrate the North East’s unique offer as a destination.”

Chris Brant, Director and Experiential Tourism Advisor, Unmissable England, said: “No longer do visitors just want to see the sights when they visit a place. They’re looking for authentic guided experiences that connect them with the locals and the places they know best. Visitors want to be captivated by fascinating stories and go well beyond the tourist trail. They want to immerse themselves in local history and heritage and leave with a better understanding of the places they have experienced. I can’t wait to see what new visitor experiences are developed by local businesses!”

A spokesperson from the North of Tyne Combined Authority said: “This campaign will build on our growing reputation and bookable product offering for active pursuits, food and drink and winter escapes in the North of Tyne. This will support SMEs through the challenging period of October to March, equipping them the skills and practical tools they need to bring new products to market and to attract new audiences. As well as supporting the tourism sector to thrive, this initiative will play a pivotal role in inspiring more visitors to stay longer, do more and spend more.”

Following the initial online training session, businesses will be able to attend a workshop in either Newcastle or Alnwick to help develop ideas and get advice on how to successfully deliver an experience.

Tourism business owners wishing to book onto the training sessions can do so by visiting: https://bit.ly/3EaN9Ut