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Hotel boom as Newcastle benefits from Olympics

Even though the majority of the action was based in London, hotels in Newcastle also benefited from the influx of attendees for the London 2012 Games.

Football fans came to Newcastle to watch Olympic matches and managed to book out many of the city centre hotels.

While the Olympics were taking place, Leoni Fitzharris, from the Copthorne Hotel, The Close, said: “We are fully booked for the next two weeks. We’re very busy with guests who have flown in from Europe for games at St James’ Park.

“Our furthest guest came from China and most people staying here are here for the Olympics.”

All 50 rooms at the city centre Grey Street Hotel were booked and the Holiday Inn Express only had two spare rooms in the run up to the football matches.

Commercial manager at Newcastle development body NE1, Stephen Patterson, said that businesses in the city centre had also benefited from all of the visitors to Newcastle.

He said: “The hotel and hospitality sector in Newcastle is very well serviced but very much as a result of the city’s popularity as a visitor destination.

“What has been interesting is how our footfall figures have been up 19.6% for the same week last year. It’s not just the hotels that are busy, but the streets as well.”

Toni Huskisson, guest services assistant at the Holiday Inn, said: “We have had Brazilians, Swedish, Canadians and Japanese all staying at the hotel for the Olympics.”

Unfortunately, not every hotel has benefitted from the games; Stephen Suri, of the Jesmond Dene House Hotel, said: “If people are coming from abroad as corporate clients, they will arrange with huge chain hotels. A private boutique hotel like ourselves doesn’t get much of the market share.”

Stephen Patterson said: “We are seeing more hotel and hospitality planning applications submitted so that’s a growth sector looking forward to the next five years.

“Hotel planning applications include the former Co-op building next to The Gate and we’ve recently had the new Sleeperz hotel open too, so I would expect to see the hospitality economy improve over the next five years.”

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