VisitBritain is to promote more of England’s regions to overseas visitors by forging a partnership with Birmingham and the surrounding areas.
The three-year deal is a joint initiative with Birmingham airport, the West Midlands Growth Company, Shakespeare’s England and Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire.
The organisations will collectively market the region to a global audience, convert inspiration to visit into bookings and promote direct flights to the area.
The partnership will focus on the US in the first year.
Primera Air is starting low fare flights to Birmingham airport next year from New York, Boston and Toronto.
VisitBritain commercial director Carol Dray said: “Tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, worth £127 billion annually to the economy.
“Increasing regional connectivity not only makes it easier for visitors to see more of Britain, the West Midlands and the Peak District, it boosts economic growth, and helps keep us an attractive destination in this fiercely competitive global market.”
West Midlands Growth Company Director of Marketing and Communications Emma Gray said: “Birmingham and its surrounding areas have become increasingly popular tourist destinations, attracting some 1.5 million international visitors in 2015.
“By working in partnership with our destination partners we will be in an even stronger position to attract more visitors to the region, increasing economic development and growth. We look forward to capitalising on the opportunities and benefits that this initiative will bring to the tourism industry in the future.”
Birmingham airport commercial director Jo Lloyd said: “We’re proud and excited to be working with partners on this gateway campaign to drive more visitors to the region over the next three years.
“England’s Heartland offers visitors everything they could possibly imagine – from adventure and history to culture and arts – and with new long haul low cost direct services commencing next summer, Birmingham airport offers the perfect gateway for visitors ready to discover our vibrant cities, beautiful villages and rolling countryside.”
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