Birmingham’s visitor economy to hit all-time high in 2015

  • Figures show Birmingham’s annual visitor numbers and tourism revenue will be highest on record

  • City’s ‘Super September’ sees visitor numbers reach 10 year high during momentous month

 


Birmingham is set to attract the highest number of visitors on record in 2015, with arrivals to the city expected to reach 38.1 million, and tourism revenue hitting an all-time high of £6.2 billion.

The preliminary figures were released today by Marketing Birmingham’s research arm the Regional Observatory and tourism research body Global Tourism Solutions (GTS), and incorporate forecast reports spanning until the end of 2015.

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 UK regional city. The count was boosted by Birmingham’s landmark ‘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.

The city’s most significant month in a decade saw the completion of the £600 million redevelopment of New Street Station and the opening of the Grand Central shopping destination; along with two fixtures of the Rugby World Cup 2015 at Villa Park. The 2015 STEAM report - produced annually to assess the economic impact of visitors to the UK’s major cities - also highlighted the growing appeal of Birmingham’s festival offering, which helped draw record numbers of visitors to the city. This year’s calendar of more than 50 festivals included the city’s biggest charity art exhibition, The Big Hoot; Moseley Folk Festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary; and the city’s largest arts festival to date, The Birmingham Weekender.

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

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 £1billion transformation to the fullest.

The same success in tourism is reflected across the wider region. The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) area is predicted to attract an additional 1.2 million visitors in 2015, resulting in an overall visitor economy worth £8.1 billion - £300million more than the year before.

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

Roxana Silbert, Creative Director of Birmingham Weekender, and Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre, said:

This year’s Birmingham Weekender gave us the opportunity to showcase the city as a national leader of arts and culture. 70 Birmingham arts organisation came together to put on an awe-inspiring, free festival that energised the city’s squares, streets and shopping centres. It also inspired around 69,000 people to travel to the city for the weekend. 
Birmingham has a year-round world class cultural offer with our theatre, music, dance and visual arts companies ranking as some of the best in Europe. It’s this kind of creativity that is inspiring many people to work, visit and travel to Birmingham.

With confidence in the region at an all-time high, Birmingham will aim to mirror the success of 2015 with a busy calendar of events next year. 2016 will include the return of the Conservative Party Conference, the 40th anniversary of the NEC and the International Dance Festival Birmingham. Next year also marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Birmingham and the surrounding regions will use this milestone to promote the Midlands’ connections with Shakespeare and his literary works.

In "RESOURCES"

Essentials

Maps & Guides

Maps & Guides for your visit.

Read More

Getting around

Getting around Birmingham couldn’t be easier...

Read More

What's on

Search for places, events & accommodation...

Read More

Festivals & events

Take a look at what’s on now and coming up here...

Read More

FROM TWITTER

RT @birminghamcg22: Plans for the site that would be home to the #Birmingham2022 Commonwealth Games Village have been formally submitted fo…

RT @unibirmingham: Excited much? Congratulations to everyone joining us! You'll be here very soon! #hellobrum We can't wait 😊 https://t.co

RT @BirminghamDL: 🔴 Start-lists are LIVE!🇬🇧 ..and the British stars are coming! The meeting will see @lauramuiruns will attack @damekelly

RT @brumhippodrome: TODAY we are having afternoon tea with Miss Honey (@CarlyThoms) from @MatildaMusical in our Circle Restaurant on Facebo…

Festivals & events

Sporting highlights

All sporting events

There’s always something, or someone, to cheer for here

Read More

Culture

Art Galleries

Birmingham’s art collection is as wide as it is impressive. 

Read More

Stage & Screen

From touring West End shows to showcasing local talent.

Read More

Music

A huge arena tour or an intimate gig?  You’ll find it here.

Read More

Film

Multiplexes, the UK’s oldest working cinema or art house cool?

Read More

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

A vibrant museum in the heart of the city with over 40 galleries.

Read More

Dance

A diverse range of dance groups and venues.

Read More

See More, Feel More

Come, stay and soak up the culture in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.

Read More

Shopping

Shoppinginbirmingham.com

Plan the perfect shopping trip with full store, centre and brand directories.

Read More

Shopping centres

From the world-famous, 21st Century Bullring to the Victorian elegance of the Great Western Arcade.

Read More

Vibrant streets

Linking the centres are Birmingham’s bustling shopping streets, packed with major brands and boutique independents.

Read More

Markets

Don’t miss Birmingham’s amazing markets – whether it’s the 850-year old Bullring markets or the...

Read More

Jewellery Quarter

Home to more diamond rings, finishing touches and tokens of love than anywhere else in...

Read More

Getting Married in Birmingham

We have everything covered from the rings right up to the venue itself.

Read More