A programme to maximise the long-term economic impact made by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has been unveiled. It is expected to attract up to an additional 39,000 visitors for the UK until 2027*, with an estimated £12 million in visitor spend.

The Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) will build on the profile created by the Games to attract more visitors, trade, events and investment from key overseas markets into the UK. It will concentrate on nations and territories across the Commonwealth, plus the domestic UK market.

The BATP will operate from early 2021 until the end of 2023. It aims to create a long-term economic legacy for Birmingham, the West Midlands and more widely across the UK in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The programme is also designed to secure more than £650 million of new overseas investment and create £7 million of additional export deals. Combined with its business and leisure tourism activity, the BATP is expected to create some 1,000 new jobs, with up to 600 of these roles based in the West Midlands, the region where the Games will be held.

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport and Tourism, said:

“Birmingham 2022 is a massive investment and tourism opportunity for the UK.

“This programme is designed to ensure that businesses in the West Midlands and across the country can seize this opportunity and capitalise on the profile of the Games and its audience of 1.5 billion people.

“We want to level-up the country and help the tourism sector bounce back swiftly in the aftermath of coronavirus. This campaign will enhance the global reputation of Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK as a leading destination for trade, investment and tourism.”

A schedule of dedicated domestic, international and cultural festival campaigns will target potential visitors and the travel trade. Activities will include a central media programme, familiarisation trips, and attendance at international travel trade events and overseas events.

A digital visitor information network will deliver targeted visitor information to improve perceptions of the West Midlands and its digital prowess, complemented by information kiosks in the region. A business readiness programme will train hospitality, transport and retail staff to become ambassadors and hosts, ensuring that visitors experience a memorable West Midlands welcome during the Commonwealth Games. 

The programme also aims to increase the volume and value of business events coming into Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK by working closely with the events industry, and developing a new ambassador programme. It will target major sporting events by showcasing the venues on offer to national and international sporting federations.

VisitBritain CEO Sally Balcombe:

“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and Birmingham 2022 gives us a fantastic and valuable opportunity to highlight our outstanding tourism offer, keeping the UK front-of-mind to drive future trips as well as providing a boost for tourism businesses once people can start travelling again.

“We have seen the positive impact that major sporting events such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games can have on a country’s international standing. The upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games will drive visitors to explore more of the country, stimulating spend in the tourism sector in the lead-up to the Games and beyond, as well as demonstrating the UK’s ability to host events of the highest calibre.”

BATP activity will be supporting the Queen’s Baton Relay and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme. In addition, events such as Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, Festival UK* 2022 and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will also showcase the UK’s cultural innovation to global audiences throughout 2022.

As well as supporting the tourism industry, the BATP’s trade and investment strands will focus on four key sectors: data-driven healthcare; creative technologies; future mobility; and modern business services. The programme will also support sectors including e-commerce and the sports economy.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

“The Commonwealth Games is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the West Midlands, and we absolutely have to make the most of it.

“Our Business and Tourism Programme is therefore absolutely vital, as it sets out how we plan to market our region to brand new audiences across the world, helping to attract more overseas investment.

“Generating this investment, alongside the tourism spend that will come from visitors, is key to our region’s recovery from the pandemic and will help to create much-needed local jobs for local people.”

Funding for the BATP comes from central and local government. It comprises £21.3 million announced in the Spring 2020 Budget, and a £2.6 million investment confirmed by the West Midlands Combined Authority in June 2020. There will be opportunities for private sector sponsorship of the programme.

The BATP has been developed by a range of regional and national partners, including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, West Midlands Combined Authority, West Midlands Growth Company, the Department for International Trade, and national tourism agency VisitBritain. They are working closely with the Organising Committee for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Games Federation to deliver the BATP.

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