County woos new Viking raiders
Published at 07:41, Wednesday, 30 October 2013
A NEW Viking invasion is on the cards for Tynedale.
But rather than locking up their daughters and hiding their valuables, local businesses will welcome these Norsemen and women with open arms.
For Northumberland County Council is mounting a major drive to attract more tourists from Scandinavia and the Baltic states to the district.
Hadrian’s Wall will be one of the magnets used to lure some of the 30m potential tourists from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland to Northumberland as part of an ambitious scheme to make it the most visited county in the country.
The tourist trade is already worth over £700m per year to Northumberland, and the Labour administration at County Hall is determined to increase the trade by at least 15 per cent over the next five years.
The county council plans to work with tourist attractions in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, like the Roman Wall, Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Gardens, to develop and market a Northumberland-specific tourism strategy in time for next year’s holiday makers.
The council’s sights are focused on the so-called ‘Viking Raiders’, tourists who currently visit the North-East through DFDS links to Newcastle from Scandinavia and the Baltic.
Figures released by UK Trade and Investment estimate that the raiders have a gross disposable income of over £600m per year. It’s also estimated that over 2,000 jobs rely on the tourism trade in the county, with thousands more linked to the supply chain.
Council leader Coun. Grant Davey said: “We’re keen to make sure that we can make Northumberland as attractive as possible for visitors and residents alike.
“We want to encourage visitors from our traditional neighbours in Scandinavia, who visit Tyneside in increasing numbers, to look further North into our beautiful county.”
Visitors from Norway and Sweden were not so popular 1,000 years ago, when Viking raiders terrorised the district, burning down Hexham Abbey and sacking the town in 876.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
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