Published on : Tuesday, May 29, 2018
The tourism sector of the city witnessed its most successful year in history last year, with hotel revenue, the number of visitors and the amount they spent all hitting record highs.
The latest figures just released by the West Midlands Growth Company and research body Global Tourism Solutions (GTS), reveal Birmingham welcomed 41.8 million visitors in 2017.
The amount of money they spent in the area hit £7.1 billion – an increase of more than nine percent in the space of a year.
The average hotel occupancy stood at 75 per cent, matching the previous record set in 2016, whilst RevPAR (revenue per available room) was £51 in value, the highest figure ever recorded.
The city welcomed the most tourists during September, a month that included major events such as the Natwest T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston Stadium and Birmingham’s largest outdoor festival, the Birmingham Weekender.
The region’s literary heritage was celebrated as 2017 marked the 80th anniversary of JRR Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel The Hobbit. Heritage was also the sub-sector to see the greatest increase in visitor numbers, up 12 per cent on 2016.
The number of full-time equivalent jobs supported by the visitor economy has risen by 7.2 per cent since 2016, from 70,635 to 75,748.
The announcement of the latest figures coincides with a visit to the region from Tourism Minister Michael Ellis. The visit marks the arrival of a prominent new tourism project to the area – England’s Waterways, supported by the Discover England Fund.
The project, led by the West Midlands Growth Company, is intended to inspire international visitors to explore the canal networks and surrounding cultural offer throughout Birmingham and the wider Midlands region.
Mr Ellis said that Birmingham is one the UK’s leading destinations, with excellent attractions, nightlife and hospitality.
Following the hugely successful Commonwealth Games handover and the arrival of Dippy the Diplodocus, this positive tourism trend looks set to continue well into the future.
The leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward, added that tourism is a major part of the Birmingham economy, supporting thousands of jobs, and these outstanding figures underline the fact that this city is now a major tourist destination, with a growing profile on the global stage.
In last decade Birmingham has attracted growing numbers of overnight visitors. The total number of staying visitors has increased by a third (1.2 million) since 2008. Most of the visitors are travelling from include Ireland, Germany and the US.