Record figures show increase of 154,000 visitors, bringing £18million more to city coffers
City’s visitor economy now worth £4.6billion
Average visitor stays for 1.1 days and spends £140
Birmingham’s reputation as a visitor destination has received another boost with news that the city attracted an additional 154,000 visitors last year according to new figures released by industry research body, Global Tourism Solutions. Visitor numbers rose to 32.8 million in 2010, from 32.6 million in 2009 – bringing an additional £18 million into the city. The overall value of the city’s visitor economy is now £4.6 billion.
Birmingham’s strong performance appears to be bucking both a national and international trend – with tourism bodies VisitBritain and VisitEngland both reporting drops in the number of domestic and international visitors holidaying in the UK.
The STEAM report, produced annually by Global Tourism Solutions to assess the economic impact of visitors to the UK’s major cities, also revealed that its 32.8 million visitors spent nearly 37.5 million days in Birmingham in 2010 – an increase of 364,000 days. The average visitor to the city stays for 1.1 days and spends £140.
Birmingham’s visitor economy has grown significantly over the last five years with visitor numbers rising by 13% over the period. These figures fuel the sector’s growing economic impact which has risen by 72% in the last five years – from £2.7 billion in 2005 to £4.6 billion in 2010. The strength of the city’s visitor economy has also created 21,220 jobs over the period, with employment in the sector going up by (57%).
Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham’s visitor economy has seen strong growth in recent years – from visitor numbers, their economic impact and the number of jobs created by the sector. Today’s figures confirm its position as a key driver of the local economy. This growing reputation is what, in turn, has created economic growth and jobs for the city. The fact that Birmingham has seen visitor numbers increase despite a drop in figures nationally indicates that our promotional activity is achieving real results.”
Birmingham’s hospitality sector is eagerly awaiting some exciting additions to its existing portfolio with 28 hotels currently at various stages in planning and construction. The new development activity demonstrates the confidence investors have in both this sector and Birmingham itself as a vital leisure and business destination.
Two flagship hotels are planned for the city by Sanguine Hospitality Limited. These include one of Birmingham’s newest developments – the upscale boutique Hotel Indigo, occupying two floors of The Cube and including 42 bedrooms and 10 suites, which is due to open in December – and the £34 million 285-bedroom Hampton by Hilton hotel based at Cumberland House on Broad Street.
Sanguine Hospitality Ltd chair Simon Matthew-Williams, said: “Our significant investment in Birmingham reflects our confidence in the city as a growing leisure and business break destination. We recognise the vast opportunity offered by Birmingham’s visitor economy and are extremely proud to be part of two of the most exciting developments currently under construction in the city.”