How the Newcastle United takeover will directly bolster the city’s tourism sector

The tourism sector supports 21,000 jobs in Newcastle and Gateshead.

Newcastle United's home clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday was the club's first sold-out home game in 29 months.

The atmosphere at St. James' Park was electric as takeover fervour continued to whip Magpies fans into a frenzy.

Steve Bruce's side looked ready to rise to the occasion too with a second-minute goal from Callum Wilson putting the team ahead.

Eventually, Newcastle crumbled, losing the match 3-2 to a ruthless Spurs side.

Nonetheless, as fans poured out of St. James' Park, there was an air of optimism still present.

That positivity is no doubt buoyed by the £320 billion that The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) are sitting on.

Fans can dare to dream of big-name players at their club again and a return to the form of yesteryear.

It's not just the performances on the pitch which could be bolstered by investment either.

The Newcastle Gateshead Initiative has crunched the numbers behind investment and what it could mean for the city on the whole.

How important is tourism in Newcastle?

Tourism is the fourth largest sector in the North East and is England’s third-largest employer.

It’s worth over £5bn to the economy each year and supports over 63,000 jobs in the region.

Before the pandemic the industry supported 21,000 jobs in Newcastle and Gateshead and, in 2019, the city welcomed 19.22 million visitors.

Those guests brought about an economic contribution of £1.905 billion too.

What does that have to do with Newcastle United?

According to data taken from August 2018, before the pandemic, the average hotel capacity in Newcastle on non-match days was 77%.

When Newcastle played Spurs on the first day of the 2018/19 season, August 11 2018, 92% of hotel rooms were filled.

That translated to mid-week fixtures too.

In January 2019, the average hotel occupancy was 58% but rose to 95% when the Magpies played Manchester City on a Tuesday night that month.

What if Newcastle United return to Europe?

Thinking about a top-half finish, let alone a return to Europe, may still seem a way away for Newcastle United fans.

Ultimately, that is the goal for the club's new owners and, should they succeed, it will be good news for the city too.

When United played in the 2013 Europa League quarter-final against Benfica, midweek hotel occupancy shot up 22%.

On top of that, VisitBritain data found that international visitors spent much more than domestic visitors.

The average Portuguese visitor in Newcastle spent £401 in the city during their trip.

What projects are currently in the pipeline?

The Newcastle United takeover will certainly be music to the ears of those currently investing in the city's tourism industry.

There's a number of key projects in the works at the moment, which include:

Giant’s on the Quayside - £100m scheme projected to attract 698,000 visitors a year and create 800 jobs. It’s set to include the 440ft tall 'Whey Aye' wheel, a 39ft statue named 'The Geordie Giant', a food and drink complex, and other sport and leisure offerings.

Pilgrim Place - A newly-approved £110m development in the heart of the city centre that includes a major new complex of bars, restaurants, and offices.

Newcastle Central Station Regeneration – A £5m investment to improve Newcastle Central Station that is projected to help bring 12m passengers annually once complete in 2023.

New Bridge Street Development - £50m investment to create the city’s largest mixed-use skyscraper. The plans include brand new housing, a total revamp of the New Bridge Hotel, and additional leisure facilities.

Brett Oils Site Regeneration - £35m regeneration to transform a former oil depot on the Gateshead Quayside into more than 200 homes as well as an office space. This will create 157 construction jobs and 142 office-based jobs.