Birmingham has been named the UK’s best city as voted by readers of Group Leisure magazine. This prestigious accolade was awarded to Visit Birmingham on the first day of the Group Leisure and Travel Show, held at the NEC, Birmingham. The leading publication in its field, Group Leisure magazine is widely read by group travel organisers, and the Group Leisure Awards were launched in 1997 as a direct result of the opinions from the organisers themselves. The awards provide a platform in which to both showcase and recognise the UK’s most popular leisure and tourism destinations, shows, attractions and businesses based on Group Leisure reader’s experiences over the year.
Birmingham is a thriving multi cultural city with a huge population of over 1 million people. Despite the recent recession the city has managed to pull in record visitor numbers. In 2012 over 33 million people visited Birmingham for retail, business and leisure, boosting the local economy with a staggering £5.1 billion. This vibrant city has so much to offer – from Michelin starred dining, fine art, historic architecture, first class theatre shows and unrivalled shopping experiences to name a few. In addition to this, Birmingham is one of the greenest cities in the UK, with over 8,000 acres of parkland and open space to enable any sightseers the chance to relax and enjoy some natural beauty during their stay. Birmingham is a truly multi faceted city with great accessibility, and will have something to suit everyone from families, students, professionals and the elderly.
The award is testament to the popularity of this city as a tourist destination, and the dedication and hard work put in by Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services and her team at Visit Birmingham. The 11% increase in visitors over the last six years is no coincidence, and is largely due to clever marketing of this city’s greatest attractions.
Many of these attractions have been present for many years and some have been developed recently to accommodate the needs and demands of people of all ages and abilities who are seeking a city break. One of the most successful events that Birmingham hosts for tourists is its famous Frankfurt Market that sees thousands of people come from across the country to grace the pedestrianized city streets to browse the fabulous German wares on offer.
The Group Leisure Award has highlighted Birmingham as a city of excellence for tourism and leisure and should give Birmingham a fantastic springboard as it approaches its busiest time yet – the festive season.