Tyneside is hoping to get a tourism boost from hosting a conference for some of the country’s top travel writers.
The second annual Travel Bloggers Conference will be held at Sage Gateshead next February.
Brighton hosted the inaugural event in 2013 and has benefited from a series of blog posts and social media buzz following the conference.
Michael Ball, from organisers Traverse, said: “Sage Gateshead is the ideal venue for Traverse 14 because it provides a unique, creative and vibrant space, perfect for delivering an inspiring conference.
“Our attendees are used to travelling the world and seeing amazing sights so we wanted to make sure that we had a stunning venue with a great backdrop.
“With Sage Gateshead and the River Tyne we have both of those elements, while NewcastleGateshead gives us the vibrant, energy filled, fun destination we were looking for.” Among those speaking at the event will be Kash Bhattacharya, better known as the Budget Traveller, as well as Anna Silva O’Reilly, Portuguese creator of the award-winning luxury travel blog Mrs O Around the World. Both bloggers will be sharing their expertise with delegates throughout the conference program.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The opportunity to host Traverse 14 is truly exciting. Not only is it testament to our credentials as a conference and events destination, but evidence that NewcastleGateshead is a dynamic place with a vibrant and famously friendly personality that is a constant draw for city-breakers.
“We can’t wait to welcome Traverse and the many travel bloggers set to descend in February.”
As well as the conference being based at the Sage, a welcome reception on February 21 will be held at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.
Anna Stacy, head of conference and events at Sage Gateshead, commented: “Sage Gateshead is delighted to have been selected to host this prestigious conference. We’re excited to welcome the delegates and are confident that we will provide the perfect creative home for the UK’s leading bloggers, PRs, tourist boards and travel companies in attendance. We’ll be listening closely to the top tips being shared and you can be sure we’ll also be tweeting about what is set to be a fantastic three-day event.”
Figures released last week showed a big jump in tourists coming to Tyneside was worth more than ï¿½400m to the local economy. The information from the marketing agency NewcastleGatestead Initiative show that 1.9m people spent a total of 4.3m nights in the area during 2012, contributing ï¿½404m to the economy – an increase of 8% from 2011.
Among those visits was a number of conference delegates, with Sage Gateshead hosting the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in March and Newcastle Civic Centre welcoming the National Union of Journalists in October. The two events attracted more than 1,850 delegates and ploughed more than ï¿½2m into the economy.