Leading tourism businesses sign up to accessible online platform to provide an inclusive welcome for visitors

Tourism businesses across the North East have committed to playing their part in making the UK the most accessible tourist destination in Europe by 2025 by implementing a web-based app for visitors with access needs.

Untitled design 88

The Everybody Welcome Initiative funded by North of Tyne Combined Authority and delivered by Destination North East England gives businesses access support and advice to help them maximise the accessibility of their business, create the warmest welcome and tap into the ‘Purple Pound’ which is worth £15.3 billion to England’s economy.

As part of the initiative, Destination North East England is offering a number of visitor economy businesses a free 12-month subscription to WelcoMe, an online platform dedicated to helping businesses build relationships with their visitors with access requirements and empowering people to engage with venues.

More than 200 leading businesses across the region have signed up to Everybody Welcome, a huge step forward in making the region more inclusive and accessible to all visitors and locals alike.

Businesses signed up to the WelcoMe platform include Newcastle Castle, Staybridge Suites Newcastle, Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Star and Shadow Cinema, Queen’s Hall, Whitehouse Farm Centre, Brown Rigg Lodges and Guest Rooms, Alnwick Castle, Northumbria University City Campus, The Alnwick Garden, Maldron Hotel Newcastle, Crowne Plaza Newcastle, Woodhorn Museum, Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum, The Fire Station Sunderland, Blackfriars, Hinnies and Dobson & Parnell.

One of our key reasons for joining the Everyone Welcome initiative, and subsequently WelcoMe, was to create, and improve, an enjoyable experience for all our visitors. “As with many historic buildings, not all parts of our sites are fully accessible, and so we are constantly looking to learn and evolve. “The programme offers a valuable bank of resources to access with shared knowledge on best practice and training resources which will help us to achieve our vision and create an inclusive visitor experience from information online to visiting the site.
Victoria Rice, Museums Manager, Woodhorn Museum
Having the 3D virtual reality accessibility tour on our website is such as useful tool so visitors can understand what our space is like and how they can access things such as our lifts. “We want as many people to feel as welcome as possible at the Queen’s Hall and having videos such as this is a great way to help people feel confident using our spaces.
Helen Mills, Audience and Sales Manager, Queen’s Hall
Everybody Welcome is such an important initiative to get involved in. We want to be part of a movement that puts our region on the map for being the most accessible in Europe! It’s a great opportunity to showcase our commitment & dedication to providing an inclusive experience for all our guests, regardless of their abilities, broadening our appeal to a wider audience.    “Signing up to WelcoMe has given us the tools to go one step further than just having a traditional accessibility guide on our website. Creating a warm and memorable experience is a key aspect of our customer journey and by accessing WelcoMe, we are not only meeting expectations but exceeding them.   “The platform enables us to know in advance about any specific requirements a guest may have, giving us a snapshot of information regarding their disability or condition. This advanced knowledge empowers our staff to make necessary preparations, ensuring a seamless and personalised experience for every guest.
Ruth Terrington, Operations Director, Hooked on Group
It’s fantastic that so many businesses have engaged with the initiative, and are passionate about providing an inclusive experience to all visitors. We think it’s testament to our region’s reputation of being one of the friendliest places in the country. We really encourage other businesses to get on board and utilise the WelcoMe platform for a really inclusive customer experience.
Laura Freer, Head of Visitor Economy Development, NewcastleGateshead Initiative (lead organisation for Destination North East England)

Destination North East England is led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative on behalf of the region, working with delivery partners Visit Northumberland and Visit County Durham and in in partnership with all seven local authorities to unlock the growth potential of the visitor economy.

Businesses across the North East can access 12-month free trial of the WelcoMe app through the Everybody Welcome Initiative. Find out more here.


    Share on social:


    News Articles


    Post Date

    Gradient Header Keilder

    Sign up for news and updates

    Register for the Destination North East England newsletter packed with news, resources, events and market intelligence.