The Visitor Destination Plan will capitalise on the huge opportunities that hosting the Commonwealth Games brings, not least the unprecedented television coverage to a worldwide audience this summer. Outdated perceptions of the city and region will be challenged as viewers and visitors will see how much Birmingham has transformed in recent years.
There is a palpable buzz around the city, not just because of the Games and the Birmingham 2022 Festival, but also in the creativity and culture that has blossomed in neighbourhoods like Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter.
The plan will support the visitor economy by showcasing areas where Birmingham is strongest including our vibrant culinary scene, world class culture and festivals, history and heritage, award-winning family attractions, independent and designer shopping, our acclaimed Christmas experience and a growing screen tourism offer. The council will work with its partners to ensure that these ‘hero’ themes will be communicated effectively to consumer and travel trade markets and become better known both nationally and internationally.
The plan will support businesses in becoming more accessible, equipping them with the training and tools to provide a warm and inclusive welcome to visitors with disabilities and their families.
It will provide support for sustainable tourism, whether they are a business looking to start their journey or want to promote the measures they have in place more successfully.
It will further support the delivery of council priorities including the ‘Be Bold Be Birmingham’ legacy plan for the Commonwealth Games.
Cllr Jayne Francis, cabinet member for digital, culture, heritage and tourism, said: “Birmingham is a city that is really going places – one of the youngest, most diverse and well-connected places in the country, with an incredibly impressive cultural sector and home to world-class venues and institutions.
“The eyes of the world will be on Birmingham during the Commonwealth Games and we want to stay in the spotlight, which is why we must do all we can to help the tourism and cultural sector recover from the pandemic and leave a real legacy from the Games. This city offers so much and we want to sell it to the world!”
Visitor numbers and economic impact have been increasing year on year until the coronavirus in 2020. The value of Birmingham’s visitor economy peaked at £7.9 billion in 2019 but has dropped by 56% in 2020 during the pandemic and is not expected to fully recover until 2024. Additionally, the market will be more competitive than ever before as all destinations around the world look to recover.
The report will be discussed at cabinet on 28 June.