This month, we catch up with ALEX, one of Newcastle Tour Company's FOUNDERS!
“Hi! My name is Alex and, together with my colleagues Paul and Anna, I founded Newcastle Tour Company! as a consumer brand within Experience North.
COVID-19 really changed everything! We realised very quickly that our core markets (business, cruise, groups) would take longer to return after the pandemic and set out to create condumer brands for individual travellers to enjoy tours to Newcastle and the wider North East of England.
Our passion is simple: ensure our guests have the best experience possible and return home telling everyone about our amazing cities and regions.“
What makes your job most enjoyable?
“Meeting lots of people and making sure we can provide them with an amazing experience and help them make most of their time in our regions.
I also love working with our team and love reading the reviews our guides receive form our visitors!”
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in tourism?
“Crisis Manager! To explain though, this is something our customers would never see – however, it is amazing how many last minute bookings, changes or issues we need to contend with (at any time of the day or night!)… Keeps me busy though.”
What does your typical workday look like?
“If the kids let me sleep, wake up early and refreshed (otherwise simply wake up early!) and grab a coffee.
Run to the office (bagel in hand – or similar) and into emails… Sometimes lots of emails varying from “let’s chuck that one” to “let’s prioritise this” to then “oh no, this needs dealing with right now” to, finally, “let’s just do everything at once”… Or poke Anna…
Telephone calls, meetings with potential customers, venues we may want to check or guides to chat through new ideas…
I sometimes do educational lectures or talks and these are lovely to do (gets me out of the office – only to return to 100 emails an the day begins afresh!).
I make it sound so fun……..it is actually! I love my job and that everyday something new and exciting can come up!”
What is your favourite place in North East England?
“It has to be Newcastle – it is the reason I moved to the UK in 2004! The changes between the 1980s and today are sheer unbelievable and I was hooked on the idea to ensure visitors get to see this amazing city!
First-time visitors often don’t have high expectations of the city and the one word that always comes is “surprised”.
I must admit, the first time I travelleing into the North Pennines and along Hadrian’s Wall, I was in awe… And so close to the city! This whole region is an amazing paert of the world and worth exploring for several days (or, as in my case, years!). Have a look at our multi-day trips to immerse yourself more into North East England,”
Your most joyous moment at Newcastle Tour Company?
“The day of our first booking! What an amazing feeling to know that something we built from scratch during COVID (website, booking engine, marketing, tours, guide training and more…) was working and people began booking our tours.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
“With having two girls aged 6 and 3, anything to do with mermaids, princesses and pink stuff!
If I do find time to myself, I love meeting with friends, spending some time immersing myself into a good movie or TV series, watching some sports, playing squash or simply being out and about with the family.”
If you could pick anybody to be your mentor, who would it be?
“I would have to pick Paul Price. He was my lecturer at university and became a good friend and someone to talk to about all kinds of stuff. He taught me a lot about business and kept me on-track during my educational years in Newcastle.”
What three things do you always carry with you when in work?
“Coffee, laptop, phone… Boring, I know.”