Visit Birmingham declares city ‘Open for Christmas'

Birmingham today (09.11.12) unveiled its national Christmas campaign ‘Birmingham – Open for Christmas’, set to entice visitors to the region this festive season.  

Led by Visit Birmingham, the city is kicking off seasonal celebrations with the launch of a new microsite, designed to help visitors plan a fun-filled trip to the city this Christmas and New Year. The new festive site includes everything from visitor itineraries and online competitions to seasonal tips, event information and an interactive advent calendar during the countdown to Christmas.

The campaign, which is supported by the national tourist board VisitEngland, Retail Birmingham and London Midland features local film star Julie Walters in a range of radio adverts urging visitors to explore Birmingham and the wider region this festive season. Visit Birmingham will also be running the popular Meet and Greet coach service to the Frankfurt Christmas Market, welcoming groups via coach from across the UK.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham, the city’s leisure tourism programme, said:

Christmas in Birmingham is a truly unique experience and with the launch of the Frankfurt Christmas Market – the largest of its kind in the UK – just days away, the city is very much ‘Open for Christmas’.

Birmingham is a diverse destination which offers plenty to help visitors get into the Christmas spirit and our internationally acclaimed dining scene, fantastic range of family attractions, cultural gems and world-class retail offer continues to attract record numbers year on year.

There really is something for everyone to experience in the city at Christmas, from families and couples to those visiting in groups – we hope will prove a useful tool for those planning a visit to the city, helping to provide visitors with a magical festive experience.”

Christmas in the city is set to be more exciting than ever with a fantastic line up of events such as the Christmas Parade and Lights Switch On (10 November), complete with real reindeer and camels, and the return of the Frankfurt Christmas Market (15 November – 22 December) – the pinnacle of the city’s festive calendar.

Visitors can also enjoy an enchanted Christmas in Birmingham with classic pantomimes and spectacular shows on offer in the theatre district, a fantastic range of family attractions and entertainment options and hundreds of mouth-watering restaurants to choose from across the city and wider region.

Not to forget Birmingham’s seasonal shopping offer – as the biggest retail centre outside of the capital, the city boasts over 1,000 shops within a 20 minute walk, world famous retail centres and arcades, over 100 independent outlets and the oldest working Jewellery Quarter, which still produces an estimated 40% of all UK jewellery.

Jonathan Cheetham, Chair of Retail Birmingham, the Business Improvement District for Birmingham city centre’s retail heart, said:

As one of the most popular places to shop in the UK, Birmingham is the destination of choice for Christmas shopping. The city boasts a fantastic retail offer – visitors can get Christmas shopping all wrapped up in one trip with everything from independent outlets to flagship stores such as Selfridges and iconic retail centres including Bullring and The Mailbox, all within the city centre.”

This year, Visit Birmingham has made travelling to the city even easier by joining forces with travel partner London Midland which operates direct trains into the heart of Birmingham.

London Midland’s Head of Marketing, David Whitley commented:

Our services run direct into the heart of the city, so as soon as you step off the train you’re right in the middle of all the festive delights Birmingham has on offer this season – and with so much going on we hope you’ll be back on board for more.”

‘Birmingham – Open for Christmas’ is in part funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and is part of a three year investment programme called ‘Growing Tourism Locally’, coordinated by the national tourist board VisitEngland. The festive campaign is also supported by partners including Retail Birmingham, London Midland, Birmingham City Council and the city’s five Business Improvement Districts – The Jewellery Quarter, Brindleyplace, Broad Street, Southside and Colmore Business District.

A range of visitor attractions, shopping destinations and local businesses have also backed Birmingham’s latest Christmas campaign including The Mailbox, Aston Manor Brewery, Birmingham Museums Trust, New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Birmingham REP, National Sea Life Centre Birmingham and Cadbury World.



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