Tourism businesses across Birmingham have welcomed the news that the city will host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
A PwC economic impact analysis has anticipated that the games will generate a £526 million boost to the West Midlands region.
Between 500,000 and one million additional visitors are expected over the 11-day sporting event, which would support an average of 4,526 workers per year from 2018 to 2022.
Neil Rami (pictured)
, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth Company and member of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Bid Committee, said: “This is the West Midlands’ moment to make its mark.
“Hot on the heels of Coventry’s City of Culture success, Birmingham winning the 2022 Commonwealth Games is another tremendous endorsement for the region, providing an unprecedented opportunity to showcase its recent resurgence and regeneration on an international stage.
“Birmingham has enjoyed a 17% increase in domestic tourists and a 52% rise in overseas guests since 2011. We anticipate the Games will create an enduring impact on the growth of domestic and international tourism in the region like never before, and look forward to providing an outstanding welcome to the many sports fans who will visit us in five years’ time.”
Birmingham will also host the Games’ first cultural programme, highlighting the city’s diverse population and industrial history and heritage.
Birmingham welcomed the highest number of visitors on record in 2016, with tourist numbers reaching 39.1 million, international visitors hitting 1.11 million and tourism revenue at an all-time high of £6.5 billion. The number of full-time jobs supported by the sector now stands at 70,635.
Figures from the West Midlands Growth Company Regional Observatory also show that 2016 was the most successful year in history for Birmingham’s hotels, with occupancy rates for 2016 peaking at 99% capacity and averaging at 75%.