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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 February, 2005, 08:44 GMT
Region boosts business reputation
Sage Gateshead
The Sage will host the Labour Party conference
Tyneside is hoping to rake in millions of pounds from an expected boom in the conference trade.

For the first time, the Labour Party is holding its spring conference at the Sage Gateshead on Friday.

Jeremy Brinkworth, from the Visit Britain organisation, said Newcastle was already attracting about 200,000 business and leisure visitors yearly.

Experts predict the area could benefit by about 72m a year as new facilities attract organisations.

Mr Brinkworth said: "The region and Newcastle in particular is getting a lot of business and it is set to increase.

Image and perception

"People are looking for different opportunities - not just southerners but hopefully some overseas conference organisers as well.

"Businesses spend a lot of money, and typically they spend twice as much a day as a regular tourist."

The Newcastle-Gateshead Initiative was set up to improve the general image and perception of the area and increase visitors to the region.

The organisation's Ian Taylor said: "You have to look at why conferences take place. Organisers want to send people back to their workplace energised.

"Newcastle-Gateshead has a fantastic reputation as a wonderfully creative, cultural city, a great reputation as a visitor city and that is very attractive from a conference point of view."



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