New project to support innovation in tourism and hospitality

May 31, 2022

Tourism and hospitality businesses in parts of the North East will be given help and support thanks to a new project focusing on innovation and supply in the industry. 

Funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), the Hospitality, Innovation, Tourism Supply (HITS) programme will support businesses in Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside in bringing more innovative into the visitor offer. 
This could be through technology-based solutions, developing new products or enhancing the skills of the workforce. 

The programme is being led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) in partnership with Food and Drink North East (FADNE) and NBSL, who support businesses in the region in accessing grants and with businesses mentoring. 

To launch the programme hospitality, tourism and leisure supply organisations are being invited to a workshop to discuss ideas that can potentially make a real difference to individual businesses and the industry. 

The programme will also focus on increased collaboration between tourism businesses, including those in the supply chain. It will raise the awareness of local products and independent businesses to a wider audience and will help to increase the adoption of digital and/or green technologies. 

The FREE workshop will be held on Monday June 20 at The Core in Newcastle Helix from 9.30am to 12.30pm.  

Ian Thomas, Director of Tourism at NGI said: “With this project we want to hear from hospitality, tourism and suppliers about what the challenges are in the industry, such as skilled staff, supply chains, connectivity and to adopting new technologies. Following on from the pandemic, which had such a detrimental effect on this industry, there is no better time to drive forward with innovative and technology-based solutions to help increase productivity as well as a more resilient and collaborative business community.” 

The programme will also see the implementation of a new supply chain portal as well as the distribution of innovation grants to businesses via FADNE and NBSL. 

Chris Jewitt, Founder and CEO of FADNE said: “We want to see the food, drink, hospitality and tourism sectors thrive here in the North East, creating high quality jobs, improving the industries economic contribution (GVA) whilst promoting the region as a world class food and drink destination.  

The pandemic was a real hammer blow to that ambition. The HITS initiative is an exciting opportunity to address some of these challenges faced by businesses throughout the pandemic and beyond and is a genuine chance to truly innovate and to nurture some potentially change-making collaborations”. 

To book your place go to