Almost 4,700 people have already shown their support for the North East - but more are needed to help the region win a £1m prize.
Visit Britain and Heathrow Airport have teamed up to offer one of four regions months of advertising at the world’s third busiest transport hub - with the winner decided by a public vote on social media website Facebook.
So far the North East is out in front with more than 4,690 ‘likes’ for a photo of Hadrian’s Wall, near Housteads in Northumberland - but after a slow start its rivals are beginning to catch up.
“It’s a very exciting competition,” said Newcastle International Airport’s director of planning and corporate affairs, Graeme Mason. “Heathrow is an important hub for the North East - we have a lot of flights going in and out of Heathrow to connect on to around the world.
“And with all the many millions of passengers that pass through Heathrow - something like 72m in 2013 - having the North East advertised in all of its terminals for several months is a huge opportunity for the region.
“We’re up against three other regions in Northern Ireland, the North West and the Midlands and at the moment we’re way ahead, but I’d very much encourage people to vote as I’m sure they’re aware of the story of the tortoise and the hare.
“We’ve gotten off to a great start but the others might yet catch us up, so go to the Heathrow Facebook page and click ‘like’ on the picture of Hadrian’s Wall.
“We’ve over 4,000 likes but we need a lot more to get this over the line and win this fantastic opportunity to advertise the region at one of the biggest airports in the world.”
The competition runs until August 4, with the North East currently around 1,350 ‘likes’ ahead, but in recent days Northern Ireland - which is represented by a photo of the Giant’s Causeway - has picked up the pace and is closing the gap.
“Tourism is a valuable part of the regional economy, worth around £4.2bn annually,” said Sarah Stewart, chief executive of the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which markets Tyneside on a national and international stage.
“This competition enables everyone in the region to champion and celebrate the North East – and, should we win, will help to boost visitor numbers and maximise economic benefits for the area.
“I’d encourage everyone to go to the Heathrow Airport Facebook page to ‘like’ the image of Hadrian’s Wall. Let’s really make ourselves heard as a region and secure this fantastic opportunity.”
To vote visit www.facebook.com/HeathrowAirport