Police prepare for tourism spike in Northumberland as pandemic staycations expected to see visitor influx

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said the force will need to plan for the expected surge in visitors to Northumberland and the region.

Friday, 7th August 2020, 11:11 am
Bamburgh beach Picture by Jane Coltman

In her update to the Tuesday, August 11, meeting of the Northumbria Police and Crime Panel, in the section on the response to coronavirus, Kim McGuinness writes: “Another aspect of the new normal we need to prepare for is the impact of tourism across our region, especially in Northumberland.

“It is likely we will see an increase in domestic tourism over the coming 12 months, with people much more likely to spend their holidays in the UK.

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“The North East has a vast amount to offer tourists, and I suspect we will become even more popular, with some of our Northumberland beaches, the UK’s hidden gems in many cases, becoming busier.

“I am confident this will be growth that happens in a responsible fashion, but it is worth mentioning that this will put extra pressure in local resources.

“For example, as well as its own unique offering, Northumberland is also a major access route to Scotland, and any increase in tourism either to our region or north of the border will likely lead to significant pressure on the road network, where much of the A1 is a single carriageway.

“Again, I do not see this as a major crime issue, we are a region that proudly welcomes tourists, but it will present a resource management issue which I am confident the force will be planning for.”

Northumberland County Council is placing tourism at the heart of Covid-19 recovery efforts, vowing to ensure that the county’s visitor economy comes back ‘stronger than before’ as one of the six planks of its economic plan.

New Visit Northumberland branding – Endless experiences – was unveiled last week, while the organisation is also seeking a director of visitor economy, following the recent joining of forces between Northumberland Tourism and the county council’s tourism function.

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