TRAVEL GAZETTE – Visitor numbers to Birmingham in 2015 has set a new all-time high, tourism chiefs in Britain’s second biggest city has reported .
Marketing Birmingham say the number of visitors will this year exceed 38 million, making a record 9.3 billion U.S. dollars in tourism income from the city, an increase of 332 million U.S. dollars compared with 2014.
The preliminary figures were released today by Marketing Birmingham’s research arm the Regional Observatory and tourism research body Global Tourism Solutions (GTS).
Officials at Marketing Birmingham say the figures surpass the previous 2014 record, which saw Birmingham’s tourist numbers and visitor economy grow at a faster rate than any other major British regional city.
The count this year was boosted by Birmingham’s ‘Super September’, which saw visitor numbers peak at four million throughout the month – and helped to attract half a million more visitors to the city this autumn compared to last year.
During that period – described as the city’s most significant month in a decade – Birmingham saw the completion of the 900 million U.S. dollars redevelopment the city’s main New Street Railway Station and the opening of the Grand Central shopping destination, along with two fixtures of the Rugby World Cup at football venue, 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. We 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.”
The agency says the seasonal air routes from Birmingham to China and major events such as the city’s Christmas Markets, along with a growing retail and independent culture offering saw millions travel to Birmingham to boost the city’s status as a global destination.
This past summer Hainan Airlines operated twice-weekly charter flights between Beijing and Birmingham, bringing around 4,000 Chinese visitors to the city and contributing around 28 million U.S. dollars to the Birmingham economy.
Birmingham, capital city of England’s Midlands region, is 192 kilometers north west of London, and is Britain’s biggest provincial city.