Record visitor numbers see Birmingham take lead as UK’s fastest growing regional tourist destination

  • City welcomed 37.2million visitors in 2014, the highest results on record

  • Birmingham saw higher annual growth than other UK cities

  • Visitor economy now worth £5.98billion

  • Almost 5,000 new jobs created in 2014

Birmingham attracted a record 37.2million visitors last year, an increase of almost 10% and more than any other regional UK city*. The city’s visitor economy is now worth a staggering £5.98billion having grown by half a billion in just one year. This growth has resulted in the creation of nearly 5,000 local jobs and further boosted Birmingham’s drive to become a leading global tourism and business destination. The figures were released today by Marketing Birmingham’s research arm the Regional Observatory and tourism research body, Global Tourism Solutions (GTS).

The STEAM report, produced annually by GTS to assess the economic impact of visitors to the UK’s major cities, revealed that since 2013, the number of people visiting Birmingham rose by 9.4% to 37.2million.

Birmingham’s visitor numbers, their economic impact and the number of jobs created by the tourism sector grew at a higher rate than a range of its UK competitors including Edinburgh, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff, Swansea and Aberdeen. Birmingham saw its visitor numbers rise by 9.4% and their economic impact by 12% – more than 6% ahead of the other cities on both counts.

Continued investment in the city’s infrastructure, connectivity and its renaissance as a retail, cultural and ‘foodie’ hub are being viewed as key to its growing appeal.

Paul Kehoe, Chairman of Marketing Birmingham, said:

Birmingham is now the UK’s fastest growing tourism destination with multi-million pound investments in our infrastructure, connectivity and visitor offering combining to bring record numbers to the city.
New air routes to China, major events including the city’s Christmas Markets and the Conservative Party Conference and a growing retail and independent culture offering saw millions travel to Birmingham and boost our status as a global destination.
Looking ahead, this year will see the £150million Resorts World leisure destination reach completion – adding to the recent £600million New Street Station redevelopment and brand new £150million Grand Central retail complex. It is clear that Birmingham’s place as the UK’s most connected regional city with a leading retail offering is secure. Add this to our growing culture, arts, food and hospitality offering, and it becomes obvious why Birmingham is regularly on the must-visit lists of global and national visitors.
Building on Birmingham’s international success, the wider Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) area attracted more than 88million visitors in 2014, resulting in an overall visitor economy worth £8.9billion. The partnership works with residents and local companies to promote the area globally to businesses, tourists and media.

Andy Street, Chair of the GBSLEP, said:

These results demonstrate the unique and growing appeal that Greater Birmingham has, and the potential we have to build on it even further. In the last few years, much work has gone in to defining and promoting what this region can offer visitors and businesses that is different and unique amongst its competitors. These results show that we are getting it right and that this part of the world has something truly unique – in our people, our talent, our culture, and our connectivity – to offer.
“There is a buzz and energy about Greater Birmingham that is attracting more people, who are keen to see and be part of a place that is bounding forward. The feeling of excitement here is contagious and with more investment, innovation and ideas being put in place, we expect this region to continue to become a truly global destination.

Gail Webb, Marketing Director at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, said:

The increasing appeal in the Birmingham region is greatly benefiting the local economy and particularly its growing hotel scene. The Belfry Hotel & Resort strives to provide excellence across all its facilities to ensure that visitors have a memorable experience and encourage them to return again and again.
Birmingham has seen an incredibly exciting calendar of events over the last 12 months, and with so much on the horizon we look forward to hosting even more visitors to the city.

 *The average taken is that of the cities that have reported their visitor results – as calculated by Marketing Birmingham’s research arm the Regional Observatory and tourism research body, Global Tourism Solutions (GTS).

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 @ticketfactory: Another brand new 10th birthday competition!You can win 2 tickets to see Katy Perry in Birmingham!Enter here 👉 https…

RT @katereillyjames: Oh #Birmingham you stunner! Texture, colour and light overload! #photography @CanonUKandIE #Citybreak https://t.co/Erq

RT @IndependentBham: Gindependent Birmingham Presents: Gin Battle. FREE double G&T + 4 cocktail tasters from Brum’s best bartenders. £20: h…

RT @ParkRegisBirm: It's half-term! 🎉To help you out, we've made a list of 10 free things to do with your little ones in the city: https://…

Festivals & events

Sporting highlights

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