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The fifth annual British Meetings and Events Industry Survey (BMEIS) has ranked Birmingham as the most popular destination outside London for meetings, conferences and events.
The business tourism survey provides research each year into the buying trends of more than 600 event organisers from the corporate and not-for-profit sectors in the UK.
Birmingham is the preferred UK regional events destination among industry professionals, ranking ahead of Manchester, Glasgow and Leeds. The 2013/14 survey also revealed that access and location are the top influencing factors in selecting a destination, while city centre hotels enjoy more use than any other type of venue.
Commercial Director of Marketing Birmingham, Ian Taylor, commented: "Birmingham’s ranking as the preferred business tourism destination outside London highlights the wealth of event spaces that we offer across the region and the continued hard work of our partners to provide the best possible experiences for our visitors.
"Business tourism remains crucial to the city, playing a key role in securing a record 33.8m visitors here last year. The current redevelopment of New Street Station and the expansion of the airport’s runway will only help to make the city even more connected and attractive to this valuable market."
The survey’s findings follow the third annual Meet Birmingham Showcase in November. The two-day event, organised by the city’s official business tourism programme Meet Birmingham, provided an overview of the region’s conference offer. It brought together more than 50 regional suppliers and event buyers, who collectively place more than 20,000 events each year.
Attendees were among the first to experience the £6m redevelopment of Conference Aston, the academic conference centre and hotel based at Aston University.
Paul Bunce, Marketing Manager of Conference Aston, said: “Confidence in Birmingham’s meetings, conferences and events market continues to grow. It has led us to refurbish our current venue and open eight new meeting rooms and five new private dining spaces.
“The BMEIS findings are a seal of approval for Birmingham’s event spaces. Coupled with the latest Meet Birmingham Showcase, they will help us to build on the city’s continued success in the business tourism sector."
Meet Birmingham continued its push to bring more national and international events to the region at EIBTM in Barcelona, the leading global exhibition for the business tourism industry.
Exhibiting with the country’s national tourist board VisitEngland and meetings venue Warwick Conferences, Meet Birmingham joined forces with the NEC and The Belfry to highlight two of the region’s future developments. The £150 million integrated leisure and entertainment complex Resorts World Birmingham will open at the NEC site in 2015, while the £26 million renovation of golfing resort The Belfry is scheduled for completion in March 2014.