Visitors who took in the Great North Snowdogs helped boost the local economy by £16.5million, figures have revealed.
The free public art trail, which featured 61 large and small snowdogs at various locations in Tyne and Wear, attracted more than 676,000 people.
And due to its succes the charity behind the project, St Oswald’s Hospice, has announced plans to hold a similar initiative in autumn 2019.
Tyne and Wear residents formed the majority visitors, spending on average £18.37 a trip, while those from further afield registered a £25.32 average spend.
During the course of the project more than 11,000 people downloaded the Great North Snowdogs app and at least 280,000 people viewed, shared and interacted with the St Oswald’s Hospice social media sites each week.
And more than £260,000 was raised for the charity at the final auction.
Jane Hogan, Great North Snowdogs project lead for St Oswald’s Hospice, said: “The response to this trail was beyond anything we could ever have imagined.
“People of all ages and from all parts of the country took the Snowdogs to their hearts with more than 90 per cent saying they would like the trail to return to their area and more than 80 per cent rating it ‘excellent.’
“A vast amount of work went into staging it and we are thrilled that not only will our children and their families benefit from the project, but that it has also given the North East a genuine economic boost and brought a sense of pride to the community.”
Charlie Langhorne, Director, Wild in Art said: “Our aim was always to bring something of real value to Tyne and Wear, as well as raising funds for St Oswald’s, and we never anticipated this level of impact.
“The figures are phenomenal but the economic impact is only part of the equation as the trail has also encouraged local people to discover places they wouldn’t normally visit, be more active, and spend more time with friends and family.
“The results clearly show the huge impact which happens when the business and creative sectors join forces.”