Marketing a new identity for Northumberland
Below is a sneak preview of how tourism bosses believe Northumberland's identity could be portrayed in the future.
It follows an announcement from Northumberland Tourism that it plans to "present a new face to the world" in 2010.
As part of a re-focussing of advertising and promotion the travel chiefs are aiming to lure more big-spending holidaymakers to the area.
This, they say, will ensure the lucrative ÃÂ£710m tourism market continues to thrive without overcrowding the county and destroying the undiscovered feel which underpins its appeal.
Following a ÃÂ£40,000 consultation Northumberland Tourism believes the image which will best serve the county is selling its "independent spirit".
While the re-branding has already produced a new working-logo and some mocked-up information leaflets, Giles Ingram, Northumberland Tourism's chief executive, has been quick to stress the understanding among tourism business of how they can work together to sell the area, at home and abroad is paramount.
He told The Journal of his hopes the county will embrace an identity that "captures the heart of the place", its "positive energy" and the desire of its people to "protect their authentic way of life". Giles said: "Our research shows that many people in the UK don't know where Northumberland is, what it's like or what it stands for.
"It's crucial for us to have a distinctive identity to promote the county against competitor destinations such as Yorkshire and the Lake District. In addition, tourism is vital to Northumberland's economy. In 2007 more than 12,000 jobs were supported by tourism in the county and the contribution of tourism to Northumberland economy was ÃÂ£710m.
"The creation of this new identity which we will take across the UK and indeed the world is clearly an investment in the future."
A consultation period has already been started with Northumberland business owners to gauge their reaction to the marketing change. And since March, Northumberland Tourism, partner organizations, development trusts, businesses and communities have worked with a company called Small Back Room (SBR), a destination brand specialist to develop the county's new identity.
Tags featuring a new logo could appear on Northumberland foodstuffs in the run up to Christmas, before a complete image change is phased in next year.
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