Birmingham and the region is to showcase some of the highlights of a busy 2015 calendar to a global audience at IMEX Frankfurt this week (20-22 May) as they look to build upon enquiries from the past two exhibitions, which had a potential economic impact of £3million.
Meet Birmingham, the city’s official business tourism programme, is joining forces with VisitEngland and four partners – The Belfry, the ICC, the NEC and Warwick Conferences – to shout about the wide variety of venues available to international conference and event organisers, as well as the region’s strong visitor offering and major new developments.
IMEX Frankfurt, which attracted 14,000 visitors in 2013, is one of the leading trade shows for the international meetings, incentive travel and events industry. The 2014 edition will be the biggest in its 12-year history.
Ian Taylor, Commercial Director of Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership which operates Meet Birmingham, commented: "Next year is set to be one of Birmingham’s busiest and most exciting periods for over a decade. The city’s visitor economy has grown by 11% over the past six years – resulting in a record number of tourists and spend, with 33.8million visitors contributing more than £5billion to the local economy.
"Birmingham is building an exciting future for itself as a leading international destination with significant infrastructure changes set to open up the city to new markets and tourists. We look forward to welcoming even more business tourism visitors to experience the region in the coming years."
The city is preparing for one of its most important years in over a decade with “15 in ’15” – 15 highlights in 2015, which include the completion of the £600million redevelopment of New Street Station, the £26million refurbishment of live entertainment venue the National Indoor Arena (NIA), the opening of the new £127million Midland Metro line in Birmingham city centre and next autumn’s Rugby World Cup, which comes to Villa Park, home of Aston Villa FC.
Direct flights between Birmingham and Beijing will begin this summer thanks to a £40million investment by Birmingham Airport to extend its runway. The runway extension will provide airlines with unlimited take off range, allowing jets to fly direct to China, putting Birmingham in an ideal place to become an alternative gateway to the UK for flights from China and beyond.
Maintaining its position as the top UK events destination outside London in the annual British Meetings & Events Industry Survey (BMEIS 2013/14), Birmingham remains a popular choice for national and international event professionals.