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Last Updated: Monday, 28 July, 2003, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
Tourists return to North attractions
Visitors are returning to attractions across the North East

Tourist attractions in the north-east of England have been given a boost after new figures showed visitor numbers are up this year.

Northumbria Tourist Board is welcoming new research from national tourist body VisitBritian that show the biggest increase of any region in the UK.

In 2002 visitor numbers were up 18% on 2001, when tourism was affected by the foot-and-mouth outbreak. The rise is well above the national rise of 8%.

The most popular attractions in the region that charge admission are the New MetroLand at the Metro Centre in Gateshead and Beamish Open Air Museum.

The best loved free attractions are the Baltic Arts Centre in Gateshead and the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

'Renewed recovery'

Other popular attraction that charge were Alnwick Garden, Cragside House at Rothbury, and Wallington House Walled Garden at Cambo.

Popular free attractions were Derwent Walk County Park at Rowlands Gill, Hardwick Hall Courtny Park at Sedgefield, and St Aidan's Winery at Holy Island.

Trish Hall, marketing manager at Beamish, said: "I am absolutely delighted, these figures are a sign of the region's continued recovery."

And Richard Spencer, director of marketing at Northumbria Tourist Board, said: "It is great to see the region going from strength to strength."


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