Who are NewcastleGateshead Initiative?
Newcastle is a city in the UK on the north bank of the River Tyne and Gateshead is a town on the south bank - they have joined together as one destination.
Established in 2000, NewcastleGateshead Initiative is the destination management and marketing agency for NewcastleGateshead; a public private partnership supported by Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council, working with around 170 private sector partner organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region. Their goal is to drive economic growth through work to attract leisure and business visitors, inward investment and jobs. NGI's vision is to inspire people to visit, and to live, learn, work and invest in and around NewcastleGateshead.
Speaking about the tourism element of their work, Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive, said: “The visitor economy in NewcastleGateshead alone is worth £1.4bn annually and its popularity as a city break destination continues to grow. But we’re by no means complacent; we’re continuing to deliver targeted domestic and international campaigns to market NewcastleGateshead on a national and international stage, in order to drive visitor numbers, spend and further growth in the years ahead.”
“We ‘do’ partnership”. NGI proudly explain that they are one of the best examples of public-private partnership working. Representing businesses, their partnerships cover the full breadth of the local economy and they work together to promote NewcastleGateshead and the wider region.
“NewcastleGateshead continues to thrive as a city break destination with 9 out of 10 hotel rooms full every weekend and almost as many during the week. Our attractions attract around 2 million visitors every year while restaurants and retailers continue to benefit from our visitors.” - Ian Thomas, Senior Research Manager, NGI
How do NGI use T-Stats?
NGI monitor their accommodation sector on a daily basis, and all other measures on a monthly basis. These are some of the data they put into their T-Stats system:
- Hotel rooms sold and expenditure
- Airbnb activity
- Attraction visitor numbers
- Attendance at events
- Airport arrivals
- Passengers on cruise and ferry vessels, Metro railway and Quaylink bus service
- Car parking usage
- Website traffic and social media activity
- UK national and regional economic measures
- Great Britain Tourism Survey
- Great Britain Day Visitor Survey
- International Passenger Survey
- Foreign exchange rates
- STEAM volume and value data
- Weather - rainfall, sunshine and temperature
“The Crowne Plaza built their hotel off the back of T-Stats”
Ian Thomas, Senior Research Manager, NGI
Insight from Ian Thomas, Senior Research Manager for NGI
Which department or roles within your organisation use or benefit from T-Stats?
- Public Relations
- Business tourism
What are the top 3 benefits of using T-Stats?
- Destination monitoring
- Being the “go to” organisation
Give us a good example of how T-Stats has helped you
T-Stats allows us quick insight into why we may see differences in hotel occupancy. For example, a couple of years ago we noticed a sharp fall in occupancy levels on New Year’s Day. Rather than having to go and search the Internet for possible reasons, we were able to use the T-Stats event calendar and quickly see that in the previous year the city had hosted Newcastle v Manchester United, which had pushed occupancy up. This was done in two minutes and provided an instant answer rather than scratching heads and scouring for reasons.
How does T-Stats compare to other systems available to destinations?
I think it is the only holistic solution on the market.
What advice can you give to those thinking about investing in T-Stats?
Do it. Push the resource to get it going and you will be rewarded.
What are the biggest challenges for Destination Management Organisations right now?
- Visit England reorganisation
What opportunities do you envisage for DMOs in 2017?
- More international visitors
- Greater funding available
And finally…solving 2017 challenges with T-Stats?
- Applications for funding
- Proving our worth