Attractions industry news

09 Nov 2017

VisitBritain targets more US visitors to Birmingham and Midlands

A marketing initiative spearheaded by VisitBritain hopes to attract more US and overseas tourists to Birmingham and the surrounding region.

The gateway campaign comes as Birmingham Airport increases flights to US destinations on Norwegian low-cost carrier Primera Air. From 2018, the service will include regular flights between Birmingham and Boston, New York/Newark, and Toronto in Canada.

The campaign will highlight the Midlands’ world-class shopping, historic and cultural attractions and nearby countryside and rural villages.

Birmingham Airport is working with VisitBritain, the official Great Britain tourism board, on the promotion, as well as West Midlands Growth Company, Shakespeare’s England and Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire.

“Increasing regional connectivity not only makes it easier for visitors to see more of Britain, the West Midlands and the Peak District, it boosts economic growth, and helps keep us an attractive destination in this fiercely competitive global market,” said VisitBritain commercial director Carol Dray.

Last year set a record for inbound tourism to Britain on visits and spend, with 37.6 million visits, up four per cent on 2015. Visitors spent £22.5bn (US$29.8bn, €25.1bn), up two per cent. Tourism from the US has been rising, with close to two million visits made from the US to the UK in the first half of 2017, a 31 per cent increase on the same period last year.

“Birmingham and its surrounding areas have become increasingly popular tourist destinations, attracting some 1.5 million international visitors in 2015,” said West Midlands Growth Company head of marketing Emma Gray. “By working in partnership with our destination partners we will be in an even stronger position to attract more visitors to the region, increasing economic development and growth.”

Just two weeks ago, VisitBritain announced a new tourism campaign inspired by the upcoming release of Paddington 2.

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