THE NewcastleGateshead Initiative is urging tourism businesses to rally together to help the industry recover.

The tourism industry has received a welcome boost in recent weeks with the Government announcing a temporary VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sector, a new "eat out to help out" voucher scheme and a support package for the cultural sector.

NGI is urging businesses to take advantage of the new measures and work with the organisation to show visitors that the region is ready to welcome them back.

The body is working with local partners and the tourism sector to support the recovery of the industry. A new online tourism hub has been created to signpost tourism businesses to relevant support schemes and provide resources to help develop and promote the sector.

Plans moving forward include using tourism digital marketplace TXGB to enhance and promote online bookable experiences and partnering with the new Locale app to help venues share offers and real-time information on how busy they are to visitors as they move around the city centre.

The organisation is also working alongside Newcastle City Council and the Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Newcastle, to help businesses adapt and recover from Covid-19 and safeguard jobs. The recently launched Citylife Business Support scheme was developed by identifying gaps in Government and local support, and will provide support through workshops, events and up to eight hours of free one-to-one expert advice.

NGI chief executive Sarah Green said: “We’re now at a crucial stage where businesses are reopening and visitors are getting used to a new way of operating.

"The recently announced measures were great news and we are encouraging all tourism and hospitality businesses from around the region to work with us and support the recovery of our amazing tourism industry."

“We’re running a series of webinars to help businesses adapt and innovate to current challenges and have created an online tourism hub for the latest guidance and advice.

We would love to hear from tourism businesses in the region, no matter how small, about what they are doing and how we can support them. Working together we can all help support the North East’s £5bn tourism industry and the 66,000 people it employs.”

For more information on the support available for tourism businesses visit