The West Midlands Growth Company celebrated English Tourism Week (17-26 March) by shining a spotlight on the people, places, businesses, attractions and experiences, which make up the region’s visitor economy sector.

WMGC’s tourism team welcomed British Tourist Authority chairman Nick de Bois to the region to meet West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and double Birmingham 2022 medallist Sarah-Jane Perry (pictured), ahead of the British Open squash tournament returning to Birmingham for the first time since 2001.

The event – one of the most prestigious tournaments in professional squash – will see the world’s best players line up at Birmingham Rep and Edgbaston Priory Club between 9-16 April. It’s the latest sporting tournament to take place in Birmingham following the 2022 Commonwealth Games, adding to the portfolio of major events secured by the West Midlands.

The event provides another opportunity for tourism and hospitality businesses across the West Midlands to benefit during a golden decade of opportunity for the region, with thousands of spectators expected to attend.

During his visit, Nick de Bois also met Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Digital, Culture, Heritage & Tourism Cllr Jayne Francis and General Manager of The ICC Birmingham, Allan Boyle. He discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the region’s visitor economy sector with West Midlands Growth Company Chief Executive Neil Rami and Head of Tourism Becky Frall.

English Tourism Week saw the industry come together to highlight tourism’s economic importance, and the innovation, quality and range of products and services on offer to boost domestic breaks.

The West Midlands attracted 102.3 million visitors in 2021, as the region’s visitor economy started to recover from the outbreak and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was worth £10.1 billion, up 78% on the previous 12 months. More than 101,000 full-time equivalent jobs were supported by direct and indirect tourism activities. 

To learn more about the opportunities available to WMGC tourism partners, please email