Today I attended the latest Passport Group meeting.
Passport to Hartlepool as it was originally called is a group created over 12 years by Hartlepool Borough Council with a mission to bring together its tourism department and local business in order to inform operators of ongoing and future tourism projects, philosophy, etc... that may impact on their affairs. It also invite ideas, suggestions, etc... that will help develop Hartlepool into a successful visitor destination.
Over the years, we have seen the birth of the Marina and businesses around it, including our three restaurants, the Maritime Experience (former Historic Quay) being awarded best tourism attraction in 2000, the launch of the Farmers Market (First Saturday of the month), the Maritime Festival, etc...
But most important of all was the award of the Tall Ships Race final stage to Hartlepool. This prestigious event will take place in August 2010.
A couple of years ago, Newcastle attracted over a million visitors as the Tall Ships Race made its way to Frederikstad.
This event will definitely put Hartlepool on the World map.
Our restaurants will have to be on the ball to be able to cope with all the hungry visitors.
Photo of the Trincomalee (Courtesy of HMS Trincomalee) with Portofino in the background.