Welcome to More aims to attract visitors and investors from the UK and overseas.
With Birmingham and its surrounding areas gearing up for a host of landmark events throughout the summer and autumn, Marketing Birmingham has launched a new microsite as part of its long-term campaign Welcome to More.
The site builds on 18 months of marketing and communications work targeting overseas visitors and investors, which has ranged from advertising campaigns to attending international tourism events. This has focused on European markets such as Spain, Germany and France – plus long haul destinations including the East Coast of the United States and Asia (primarily India and Japan).
Welcome to More highlights the transformation the city is experiencing, with over £1 billion in investment now coming to fruition. It encompasses everything the city region will have to offer – from the £600 million redevelopment of New Street station, to major cultural events including the Birmingham Weekender and The Big Hoot.
The microsite will become a central information point, providing further details about the milestones taking place across the local area. Marketing Birmingham has developed a range of other tools for Welcome to More, including a downloadable festivals planner, digital advertising campaign and door drop leaflets targeting national audiences who can take a direct train journey into Birmingham city centre. A social media campaign will be using the hashtag #morebirmingham.
The microsite also complements the content already available for stakeholders on the Birmingham Toolkit. Local organisations can download tools such as factsheets, a press pack, digital banners and an events calendar to help them sell Birmingham as a global destination to visit, invest and meet.
Involving a range of local partners, Welcome to More has already helped to raise awareness of the area with UK and international audiences. Rough Guides has listed Birmingham as one of the world’s top ten destinations to visit in 2015, while the city attracted a record 48 foreign direct investment projects in 2014/15.
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Marketing Birmingham, said: “This is such an exciting time for Birmingham and its surrounding areas. Anticipation is already starting to build for the launches, cultural celebrations and sporting fixtures taking place within weeks of each other.
“We have been targeting a number of key overseas markets for some time, but Welcome to More is really ramping up now. By capitalising on everything that’s taking place in the coming months, we want to encourage more people to experience for themselves why Birmingham has become a must-see destination.
“Building on the momentum of 2015, we will also be using Welcome to More to promote the region into 2016 and beyond.”
A host of retail and leisure openings will offer a brand new experience to visitors coming to the area. This includes the £150 million Resorts World leisure complex, £50 million transformation of luxury retail destination The Mailbox; a £20 million refurbishment of Selfridges; and the launch of the £150 million Grand Central shopping development with anchor store John Lewis.
Birmingham will become the only regional UK city to have a Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis in time for Christmas, offering an unrivalled luxury shopping experience outside London.
City attractions are celebrating anniversaries – from contemporary art gallery Ikon (50 years) and Birmingham Royal Ballet (25 years), to family favourites Cadbury World (25 years) and Drayton Manor Theme Park (65 years). One of the city’s oldest buildings, Birmingham Cathedral, is marking its 300th birthday. Birmingham is also hosting several major international sporting events, such as The Ashes at Edgbaston Stadium in July, and Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park during September.
Train operator London Midland has partnered with Marketing Birmingham to support Welcome to More. Senior Marketing Manager Penny Allen added: “Encouraging more people to enjoy Birmingham’s transformation will help to raise its profile as a city that is becoming better than ever. Birmingham is one of the most accessible cities in the UK, and we’re proud to be able to bring people right into the heart of the city by train to experience what it has to offer.”
The Welcome to More campaign is supported by partners across the region including The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, Birmingham Airport, Black Country Living Museum, Retail Birmingham, Resorts World Birmingham, Grand Central, John Lewis, The Mailbox and Cadbury World.