The one-day schedule of tourism activity, held at the University of Birmingham’s Exchange building, will focus on the following programmes of activity:
- The riches of the regions: dispersing international tourists from capital cities
- Roundtables with government and England’s core cities focusing on tourism policy to sustain the recovery of the visitor economy sector
- One-to-one sessions and market briefings for domestic and international buyers and suppliers to learn more about the West Midlands’ attractions, experiences and accommodation
- A focus on business tourism – exploring best practice and case studies of success with the new Birmingham and West Midlands Conference Ambassador Network
- A networking event hosted by the new Partners West Midlands partnership programme for regional tourism and hospitality businesses, exploring how to leverage the legacy of the Games
Building on the cooperative spirit of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the UK’s climate leadership at COP26, UK House is a platform that will bring together businesses and government leaders to discover opportunities for international partnership and innovations for sustainable growth.
Registration is open for UK House Tourism Day. The programme offers opportunities for industry, destination managers and government to share policy development to meet the objectives of sustainable tourism recovery for the regions. It will allow delegates to share international experience and to learn more about the UK’s tourism offer.
Speakers confirmed include:
- Nigel Huddleston MP, Commonwealth Games Minister
- Dame Judith Macgregor, Chair of the British Tourist Authority
- Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
- Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council
- Brendan McClements, Chief Executive Officer of Visit Victoria
- Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb
Commonwealth Games Minister Nigel Huddleston said:
“The international spotlight will be on Birmingham this summer, and programmes like UK House will help us harness this moment to boost tourism to the region. Birmingham and the West Midlands has something for everyone - from Shakespeare's Birthplace and the museums in Ironbridge to the striking Library in Birmingham’s thriving city centre.
"Our £24 million Business and Tourism Programme will help drive investment in the West Midlands, grow the regional economy and ensure the benefits of the 2022 Commonwealth Games are felt for many years to come.”
Patricia Yates, CEO of VisitBritain/VisitEngland, said:
“Britain’s ability to host sporting events of the highest calibre will be in the global spotlight during the Games and we are delighted to be bringing leading industry stakeholders together at UK House in Birmingham, highlighting the importance of major events to the visitor economy and harnessing the opportunities to drive tourism across the nations and regions.
“British suppliers will also have the chance to meet and do business with international travel trade at UK House, showcasing the latest tourism products and visitor experiences across the West Midlands and beyond, driving bookings to Britain.”
Birmingham 2022 presents an opportunity to change perceptions and raise awareness of the breadth and depth of the West Midlands’ tourism offer. In 2019, the region attracted 134 million visitors, contributing £13.1 billion to the economy, with approximately one in ten jobs linked to tourism. The West Midlands is at the epicentre of the nation’s culinary map, with more Michelin-starred restaurants in Birmingham than any other destination outside London. World-class cultural gems include the acclaimed Birmingham Royal Ballet, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will provide a once-in-a-lifetime springboard to put Birmingham and the West Midlands on the global map for tourists.
“This region is such a special place, with record numbers of visitors enjoying one of the country’s most diverse and exciting culinary scenes, a range of heritage sites alongside meandering canals - and more recently – an exploration of the global TV sensation, Peaky Blinders. With Festival 2022 as the backdrop to the region’s already rich leisure offer, summer in Birmingham is not to be missed.”
Tourism Day will include the official unveiling of ‘The Relaytionship’, a unique piece of digital artwork, which has developed alongside the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay. The project is inspired by a poem by spoken word artist Amerah Saleh, who will perform for delegates.
The programme will also feature a performance from Birmingham’s Poet Laureate Casey Bailey, food designed by Michelin-starred Birmingham chef Glynn Purnell and an afternoon tea experience hosted by Airbnb
Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, said:
“Birmingham 2022 presents the perfect opportunity to showcase what the West Midlands has to offer.
“Airbnb is excited to support this major sporting event, and through our community of Hosts we are delighted to be able to spread the benefits of tourism beyond the typical tourist hotspots. It is a privilege to join industry leaders in the development of sustainable tourism goals for cities, communities and families, and we look forward to working together to create a lasting legacy for the Games.”
Hosted by the UK’s Department for International Trade, in partnership with the region’s official economic development agency, the West Midlands Growth Company, UK House is part of the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP), the first programme of its kind aligned to the Commonwealth Games. It will boost the economic impact of sport and physical activity created by Birmingham 2022.
BATP is sponsored by E.ON, Airbnb, Reckitt, Bruntwood and Gowling WLG.