Birmingham visitor economy to hit record high

Birmingham visitor economy to hit record high

Birmingham is set to attract the highest number of visitors on record this year, according to new research by Marketing Birmingham.

Arrivals in the city are expected to reach 38.1 million with tourism revenue hitting an all-time high of £6.2bn, the STEAM report shows.

The numbers surpass the previous 2014 record, which saw the city’s tourist numbers and visitor economy grow at a faster rate than any other major UK regional city.

Birmingham’s ‘Super September’ played a major role with visitor numbers hitting four million throughout the month and attracting half a million more visitors to the city.

This included the £600m redevelopment of New Street Station and the opening of the Grand Central shopping destination; along with two Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said: “2015 marked an important milestone for Birmingham and the surrounding region.

“These record visitor figures are proof of the city’s rapidly growing profile domestically and across the world, and demonstrate that our collaborative approach has been a resounding success.

“Marketing Birmingham will continue to capitalise on Birmingham’s resurgence, ensuring we maintain and build on the city’s reputation as a globally competitive destination on the rise.

“We have long recognised the significance of working in partnership with stakeholders across the city to showcase Birmingham’s year of £1bn transformation to the fullest.”

The STEAM report also revealed visitor spend is expected to increase from £5.9bn in 2014 to £6.2bn in 2015 – a rise of £245m, creating 859 more jobs in the city and surrounding region’s tourism sector.

Andy Street, chair of the GBSLEP, added: “These figures are a further example of Greater Birmingham’s significant contribution to the growth of Britain’s economy.

“The area’s world-class culture, enterprise and innovation is attracting visitors and investment from across the globe, creating employment opportunities, and driving forward its reputation as a powerful gateway to the UK and Europe.

“Perceptions of Greater Birmingham as a leading tourist destination continue to rise, with visitor numbers and revenue standing at an all-time high.

“Our economic and cultural renaissance is enabling us to tap into international visitor markets, and fast become one of Britain’s most thriving and dynamic business and visitor destinations.

“I’m confident this year’s momentum will continue into 2016 and beyond, as more tourists come to experience what a vibrant success story this area is becoming”.