The Business and Tourism Programme team conducted a Mayoral-led trade mission to the USA and Canada in May 2022.
The trip covered a lot of ground with delegations from Inward and Capital Investment, Leisure Tourism and MICE in five different cities: Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Montreal and Toronto.
Talking to investors
Key activity included meetings with businesses already established in the region, such as Mondelēz and Accenture to maintain our important relationship with them. We also built new relationships with companies aligned to key growth sectors in the West Midlands such as J P Morgan Chase for Business, Professional and Financial Services and innovation hubs like CURE aligned to Life Sciences.
We discovered a warm Capital Investor interest in Toronto with follow up ongoing with four clarified investors.
Bringing in new visitors
Our Leisure Tourism team worked on raising the profile of the West Midlands and entertained 69 travel agents, operators and press across the week. Three airline route development meetings took place with Birmingham Airport in attendance.
Attracting new conferences
Birmingham and the West Midlands Convention Bureau were also out and about promoting the West Midlands as an ideal destination for major events.
The team met with multiple event organisers and agencies in Washington and Toronto. Immediately on return, there have been three new international event enquiries with a collective value of £1.5 million estimated economic impact and two confirmed companies visiting the region during Games time.
Joining in with the Relay
In Toronto, we celebrated the Queen’s Baton Relay with a profile-raising Showcase event for more than 150 guests, displaying the best of the region to an audience from across all the workstreams.
We focussed on key areas of cultural interest for the US and Canada markets, food and tv and film. We were joined on the mission by Glynn Purnell, Michelin starred chef, who provided sensational food across the week and an authentic voice of Birmingham and the food scene in the West Midlands. Artist Jon Jones, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and local poet Amerah Saleh also featured digitally in the Showcase.