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Durham’s unique and diverse experiences, world-class attractions and eclectic accommodation are the inspiration behind a new campaign aimed at boosting the county’s visitor economy.
Do Durham Differently is the latest national destination marketing campaign from Visit County Durham and encourages visitors to take a fresh look at what is on offer, explore more and try out new activities.
Visit County Durham – Durham County Council’s tourism service – has teamed up with partners across the visitor economy for the campaign to help showcase the variety that exists in the county. This includes Locomotion, Raby Estates, The Auckland Project and Beamish, The Living Museum of the North.
From cycling and stargazing to fascinating museums and fantastic food and drink – there are endless possibilities for an incredible holiday in Durham. And Do Durham Differently will share this message with millions of potential visitors through targeted marketing activity, including editorials with national media, influencer commissions and digital advertising.
It comes as research reveals Visit County Durham’s previous national destination marketing campaign, Memorable Moments, generated millions of pounds in visitor spend and reached more than 2.25 million people. The campaign also follows the publication of national industry research, which showed tourism contributed more than £1 billion to Durham’s economy for the first time ever in 2022.
Do Durham Differently will encourage people to spend longer in the county and explore a wider area. It will run from autumn 2023 to spring 2024, helping to extend the tourist season by attracting visitors outside of the peak summer period.
Duncan Peake, Interim Chair of Visit County Durham and chief executive of Raby Estates, said: “Following the success of Memorable Moments and the recent visitor economy figures, we are keen to keep the momentum going and attract even more people to the county.
“By teaming up with partners across the sector for the Do Durham Differently campaign, Visit County Durham can deliver additional, high-profile marketing activity that shines a light on just how much there is to do in Durham. Whether that be an invigorating walk along the Durham Heritage Coast followed by afternoon tea at a luxury hotel; or marvelling at treasures at a museum or gallery followed by a night under the stars in a cosy glamping pod. Add award-winning attractions, heritage sites and fantastic places to eat and drink to the itinerary and you really are spoilt for choice.”
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Encouraging visitors to stay longer is crucial to supporting tourism businesses and delivering sustainable economic growth. People who stay overnight spend on average 89 per cent more than day visitors per trip. In fact, they were responsible for almost half of the £1 billion generated in 2022, despite only making up nine per cent of the total number of visitors.
“Do Durham Differently will support our efforts to increase overnight stays by providing a wealth of staycation inspiration to suit all ages, tastes and budgets. And by promoting Durham as an inclusive year-round destination, it will also help to extend the visitor season, providing a further boost to businesses.”
Further Do Durham Differently partners include: Durham Cathedral; Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels and Gardens; The Bowes Museum; Seaham Hall Hotel; Headlam Hall Hotel; the Rose & Crown at Romaldkirk; Hotel Indigo and Radisson Blu Durham.
As part of the campaign, Visit County Durham has created a dedicated section on its consumer website full of inspiring content to help people plan their trip to the county.
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