• Research reveals that sports tourism was responsible for 1 in 7 visits to the West Midlands
  • The West Midlands to welcome 1,500 global sporting leaders at the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit (7-11 April)

Sports tourism was responsible for one in seven visits to the West Midlands, new research has revealed.

As Birmingham and the West Midlands prepares to host the world’s premier sports business conference SportAccord (7-11 April), annual data from the West Midlands Growth Company suggests that a total of 19.6 million people came to watch or participate in sporting events during the 12-month period which saw the region host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Sport-related visits also accounted for more than 13% of total visitor spending, adding more than £1.9 billion to the West Midlands economy and supporting 18,352 jobs.

Taking place at ICC Birmingham, the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit will bring more than 1,500 international decision-makers from the world of sport to the West Midlands. 

Presidents and CEOs from more than 125 global sporting organisations and federations will attend the event as the region looks to showcase why it is the UK’s heart of sport. In addition to a packed conference programme, delegates will get to visit many of the West Midlands’ top sporting venues and cultural attractions.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, the region’s destination management agency, said:

“The West Midlands has proved itself as a world-class host for sport for many years, and these figures show what a draw these events are for visitors to the region – and what a boost they give to our economy.

“The Commonwealth Games has helped us to build a pipeline of major sporting events for the coming months and years. At SportAccord, we hope to secure many more opportunities for people to experience our top-quality venues and discover everything else the West Midlands has to offer.”

The West Midlands has hosted some of global sport’s biggest spectacles in recent years, including the Rugby World Cup, The Ashes and the IBSA World Games. Events secured for the next 12 months include ESL One – Dota II esports tournament in Solihull (26-28 April); the European Judo Union Junior Cup in Walsall (15-19 June); and the Kabaddi World Cup (24-31 March 2025) – with the European Athletics Championships confirmed to take place in Birmingham in 2026. 


To find out more about the 2024 SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit in Birmingham, visit sportaccord.sport. For more details about the West Midlands’ major sporting events offer, visit meetbirmingham.com/major-sporting-events.