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The North East as a Tourist Destination: A Hidden Gem?

The North East After Brexit: Impact and Policy

ISBN: 978-1-83909-012-7, eISBN: 978-1-83909-009-7

Publication date: 28 November 2019


The North East of England has entered the global bazaar in which its landscape, once pock marked by the scars of industries like coalmining, shipbuilding and steelmaking, has been cleaned up, beautified, and it has now entered the global competition between post-industrial places for inward investment and the spoils of the ever-expanding UK tourism industry. With this, the North East’s visitor economy now generates around £3.6 billion of expenditure each year, supporting some 54,600 jobs in 2018. The visitor economy is not only important as a stand-alone sector in the North East, but is integral to the whole North East economy, and needs to be a major driver of social change and diversification within it. As the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative says: the twenty first century North East is a place of vibrancy, with a quality of life that makes it a great place to visit, live and work, study and invest – which is a strapline narrative that clearly signals how tourism is indeed both an essential and integrated part of North East life. Brexit may provide the North East tourism industry with a stronger global stage.

This chapter charts the logic of that development and asks: is it a good thing, who benefits and who loses from the sectors development. It asks whose North East are we talking about as we prepare to enter what is anticipated to be a difficult and an uncertain third decade of the twenty-first century?



Mordue, T. (2019), "The North East as a Tourist Destination: A Hidden Gem?", Liddle, J. and Shutt, J. (Ed.) The North East After Brexit: Impact and Policy (Brexit Studies Series), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 105-116.



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Copyright © 2020 Tom Mordue