Birmingham becomes fastest growing regional tourist destination

By Liam Garrahan contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image credit: Thinkstock/lloyd-horgan
Image credit: Thinkstock/lloyd-horgan

Related tags: United kingdom

Birmingham has recorded record tourist figures in 2014 with 37.2m visitors to the city, making it the fastest growing regional tourist destination in the UK.

Marketing Birmingham’s STEAM report shows a year-on-year growth in visitor numbers of 9.4 per cent.

The city’s visitor economy grew by half a billion in a year to £5.98b, while it created 5,000 new jobs showing a higher rate of growth than its UK competitors including Edinburgh, Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff.

The news follows the announcement that Birmingham is now home to five Michelin-starred restaurants​ with Carters of Mosley joining Adam’s, Purnell’s, Simpsons and Turners in the latest Michelin Guide.

Paul Kehoe, chairman of Marketing Birmingham, said that new air routes to China and New York helped contribute to the city’s growth.

“New air routes to China and New York, major events including the Frankfurt 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,” he said.

"Looking ahead, this year will see the £150m Resorts World leisure destination reach completion - adding to the recent £600m New Street Station redevelopment and brand new £150m 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.”

Andy Street, chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “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."

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