Birmingham voted Best UK Destination for second consecutive year

  • City crowned best destination for groups for second consecutive year

  • Accolade follows record visitor numbers for Birmingham in 2013

    Birmingham has been named the Best UK Destination to visit for a second consecutive year by readers of Group Leisure magazine, the country’s leading publication for group travel organisers.

    The city was recognised at a special awards ceremony held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole last night (Wednesday) to coincide with the first day of the Group Leisure & Travel Trade Show at the NEC.

    Birmingham saw off competition from London, Liverpool, Torquay and York.

    Active travel organisers from sports & social clubs, retired associations, special interest societies and other groups voted for what they consider the best across 21 categories, including awards for Best Cruise Line, Best Theatre Production and Best Airline.

    Birmingham’s success follows record visitor numbers to the city in 2013, with 34 million people contributing £5.34 billion to its local economy, supporting nearly 64,000 jobs.

    The award was presented to Visit Birmingham, the city’s leisure tourism programme, by comedian and ventriloquist Paul Zerdin and Managing Editor of Group Leisure magazine Rob Yandell.

    Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham, said:

    Birmingham is thrilled to have been voted Best UK Destination. The city’s growing reputation resulted in our visitor numbers reaching a record high during 2013, and as we gear up for a spectacular 2015 with new developments and exciting events, we look forward to welcoming even more groups.

    Launched in 1997, the Group Leisure Awards honour the country’s best destinations, shows, attractions and companies based on readers’ experiences as group travel organisers. A total of 21 awards were handed out on the night, including Best UK Attraction and Best Airline.

    Rob Yandell, Managing Editor of Group Leisure, added:

    For Birmingham to win Best UK Destination represents a personal recommendation from group travel organisers, and what better way to celebrate such an achievement than for the group travel trade to come together on one evening to mark this success?

    Birmingham is preparing for one of its busiest years in over a decade with “15 in ’15” – 15 highlights of Birmingham’s busy calendar for 2015, which also includes the completion of the £600million redevelopment of New Street Station, the £26million refurbishment of live entertainment venue the National Indoor Arena (NIA), the opening of the new £127million Midland Metro line in Birmingham city centre and next autumn’s Rugby World Cup, which comes to Villa Park, home of Aston Villa FC.

    For more information about travelling as a group in Birmingham, log on to, where visitors can create individual itineraries, find out more information about the city’s attractions and download a free coach map showing authorised drop-off and pick-up points within Birmingham.

    A full list of winners will be available at from 8am on Thursday 25th September.

    Download photos from the winner’s gallery here:



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