Birmingham 2022 is a golden opportunity not just for the West Midlands but for the UK. With a third of the world’s population tuning in, this is a chance to show that post-EU Exit Britain is open for business, support economic recovery from COVID-19 and to provide a shop window for Britain’s economic engine. 

London 2012 and previous Commonwealth Games demonstrate the potential to drive tourism, trade and investment alongside the sport and culture. Funding has been secured to deliver a major programme to attract visitors, investors and events to the West Midlands and the UK, and grow export opportunities. This will be delivered in partnership at regional and national level, with funding secured in the Spring 2020 Budget and match funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). 

A central programme team supports the programme delivery partners (West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), Department for International Trade (DIT) and VisitBritain (VB). Based in central Birmingham at the WMGC offices on Centenary Square, the team will delivery cross-cutting activity and ensure integration within the programme, with the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee (OC) and with relevant regional / national initiatives.

The programme has a diverse range of markets (UK, Australia, Canada, India, Singapore and Malaysia) and audiences including Commonwealth leaders, investors, event organisers and leisure visitors. Alongside the core budget, the programme will be amplified through working with sponsors, with IP being parts of their rights packages. The core markets for the travel trade programme are UK, Australia, Canada and India.

The Travel Trade Lead will manage the travel trade engagement and events work stream for the tourism programme. This role is responsible for taking the regions travel trade-ready products to market, including helping businesses to shape and develop new product with knowledge of the target market in mind, and evolving sustainable relationships with appropriate distribution channels to ensure that the products are picked up by key agents and operators. This role will also be responsible for ensuring that the region is represented at relevant trade and/or sales missions in all target markets and aims to build awareness of and interest in the West Midlands and its visitor offer through press and familiarisation trips. You will be required to work with both the internal team and external partners like VisitBritain to ensure the successful delivery of these events. 

Main responsibilities and key activities

  • Overall project management for the travel trade engagement and events work stream – including board reports and presentations
  • Stakeholder partnership engagement and management for your activities to ensure all key audiences are kept up to date and engaged 
  • Management of procurement processes including tendering for services to deliver the required project activity, managing these contracts and working alongside the contracted service where necessary to manage project-specific deliverables
  • Delivery of a product development programme to bring new travel-trade ready product to market, supporting businesses and using industry knowledge to guide their development of appropriate product 
  • Managing business engagement, recruitment to the product development programme and support activities
  • Shaping of itinerary building and managing contracting with DMCs or overseas tour operators / agents
  • Development of collateral and tools to aid sales activity
  • Responsible for successful delivery of external events i.e. sales missions for the travel trade work stream and ensuring these are delivered in line with the overall programme branding and agreed messaging
  • Delivery of press visits and familiarisation trips for key agents and operators from target markets
  • Build strong, cross-functional relationships to ensure a collaborative approach and drive for combined programme activity, e.g. sales/trade missions 
  • Close work with internal teams to achieve successful outcomes in the following areas: marketing and communications, research, monitoring and evaluation
  • Report against key milestones, deliverables and outputs, providing evidence as required by DCMS and WMCA to receive the funding, as requested by the Programme Team 

Dimensions 

Travel: attendance at events / meetings within the UK and attendance at international events

Budget responsibility: spend of c. £300k 

Key relationships:

  • Head of Visitor Attraction
  • Tourism Programme Senior Manager
  • Tourism Industry Manager
  • Tourism Marcomms Senior Manager
  • Business Tourism Senior Manager
  • Event Manager
  • Work stream leads


Key Skills and Competency Requirements

Area     Essential  Desirable 
Qualifications
  • Professional qualification or relevant degree, or equivalent experience
  • Evidence of continuous professional development
Skills and attributes
  • Excellent communication / relationship management skills 
  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment and manage multiple projects, self-motivated and deadline-driven
  • Used to working in different markets
  • Focus on developing others - coaching and mentoring approach
  • Creative approach and thinker
Knowledge and experience
  • Experience, with excellent track record, of working with or in the travel trade sector
  • Thorough knowledge of the trade base and distribution channels 
  • Familiar with contracting cycles and working with DMCs and operators
  • Working in a multi-stakeholder / delivery partner environment
  • International and domestic sales/trade missions 
  • Experience of working within primary target markets (India, Australia, Canada)
  • Experience with relevant audiences – leisure visitors, business events
  • Understanding of public procurement guidelines

This is a remote working opportunity until a date is agreed for the West Midlands Growth Company workforce to return to the usual place of work at Baskerville House, Birmingham.

Our priority is to keep all our employees safe and well during this time. We will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, and we are doing everything we can to ensure all our employees can enjoy a comfortable remote working space.

Role runs from March 2021 – March 2023. 

If you wish to apply for the Travel Trade Lead position, please email ben.williams@wmgrowth.com with your CV and a cover letter detailing why you think you would be right for the role.