Attractions from North Northumberland struck gold in the 2015 regional tourism awards. Visitor attractions and tourism businesses from across Northumbria will be eager to build on that success in 2016 as they welcome hospitality providers to this year’s North Tourism Fairs in Alnwick and Hexham.

The Alnwick Tourism Fair will take place on Wednesday 16th March at Willowburn Sports & Leisure Centre serving North Northumberland and the Borders, followed by the Hexham Tourism Fair at Hexham Mart on Thursday 17th March serving the Heart of Northumberland and the Tyne Valley.

Jude Leitch, General Manager of Northumberland Tourism says: “Last year was another great year for visitors to Northumberland. The county is full of contrasts, a magical place filled with ancient castles, hidden gardens, unspoilt golden sandy beaches, rolling hills, rugged moorland, sweeping views, and friendly market towns and villages. Small wonder that it remains a favoured location for film and tv dramas. As we prepare for the 2016 season the North Tourism Fairs are excellent networking events and a chance to showcase why Northumberland is so highly rated as a domestic holiday destination.”

Bruce Hewison of the Alnwick Tourism Association says: “The Tourism Fairs herald the beginning of a new season for many of our members. Holidaying at home is becoming the preferred choice for many people, and Northumberland ranks amongst the best in the country as a destination. Tourism is the second largest employer in the county and plays a vital role in our regional economy.”

“Northumberland’s natural assets feature regularly in film and tv, and the Robson Green tv series has encouraged even more people to discover for themselves the delights North Northumberland”, adds Jeff Sutheran of the North Northumberland Tourism Association. “We are proud of local award-winners, St Cuthbert’s House B & B and the Bamburgh Castle Inn. We are looking forward to another busy summer season in 2016.”

Hospitality providers from around the county and the Borders will be welcomed at the events which will take place from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm. Members of the public are also welcome. Refreshments provided by Alnwick’s Olive Branch café will be available throughout the day and admission is free.

"We regularly register over 100 exhibitors at Alnwick. At Hexham this year will have the added attraction of the Meet the Maker event taking place at the same venue on the same day.” says Philip Angier of event organiser, Local Living. "The Tourism Fairs are a ‘don’t miss’ date in the calendar for accommodation providers to collect information about local attractions for their guests. And they are also a great way for local people to find out about festivals and events in 2016 and family days out.”