Birmingham tourism sector marks 2017 as the most successful year in history
The statistics released by West Midlands Growth Company and research body Global Tourism Solutions (GTS) shows that the city of Birmingham had a boom in tourism sector recording a tourist footfall of 41.8 million in 2017. The total expenditure of the tourists amounted to £7.1 billion, registering a growth of 9 per cent in a year. The average hotel occupancy recorded 75 per cent, same as that in 2016. The RevPAR (revenue per available room) recorded £51 in value, marking the highest figure ever recorded.
The growth in tourism industry has led to a rise in number of jobs from 70,635 to 75,748, recording a 7.2 per cent since 2016. The city had majority of tourists during September, which had major events like Natwest T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston Stadium and Birmingham Weekender, Birmingham’s largest outdoor festival. The city celebrated its literary heritage as 2017 marked the 80th anniversary of JRR Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel ‘The Hobbit’. This also resulted in the increase of tourists, up 12 per cent on 2016.
The report was revealed while Tourism Minister Michael Ellis visited the city. His visit also marks the coming of England’s Waterways, a prominent new tourism project to the area supported by the Discover England Fund. “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 wider Midlands region boasts a charming canal network surrounded by vibrant green spaces and unique heritage attractions. We are pleased to be helping to attract even more people to experience these picturesque waterways through our Discover England Fund,” said Mr Ellis.
The city had a steady growth in the number of visitors over the last 10 years. The total number of staying visitors has increased by a third, 1.2 million since 2008. “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,” said Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council.