Updated on December 11, 2022 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Birmingham is one of the UK’s leading destinations, with excellent attractions, nightlife, and hospitality. Birmingham’s visitor numbers, their economic impact, and the number of jobs created by the tourism sector grew at a higher rate than a range of its UK competitors.

Continued investment in the city’s infrastructure, connectivity, and its renaissance as a retail, cultural, and ‘foodie’ hub is being viewed as key to its growing appeal.

Tourism is a major part of the Birmingham economy, supporting thousands of jobs, and outstanding figures underline the fact that this city is now a major tourist destination, with a growing profile on the global stage. Increasing numbers of visitors come to Birmingham every year and many return time and time again, thanks to its arts and culture, food, sporting offer warm atmosphere.

The city is looking forward to host the Commonwealth Games, and various plans and activities have been put in place to boost the city’s tourism sector. 

Lets take a quick look at the city’s top trends and stats


  1. Birmingham has been ranked as one of the most popular regional cities for meetings, conferences, and events.
  2. Birmingham is the UK city with the largest population outside London. Sometimes referred to as the UK’s “second city”.
  3. Birmingham is home to a thriving food and hospitality offering, with a globally renowned arts and culture scene, underpinned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and The Birmingham Hippodrome.
  4. The City Centre attracts people to the City with a number of visitor destinations including the Library of Birmingham, the Bullring shopping centre, the Mailbox, the International Convention Centre (ICC), Symphony Hall and the Barclaycard Arena. The Centre benefits from a successful network of public squares, spaces and streets.
  5. Visitor spending in the city is estimated at £7.1bn, supporting around 75,000 jobs.
  6. Birmingham itself welcomed 41.8 million visitors in 2017, a 6.9% increase from 2016.
  7. Slightly fewer than half of the domestic holidaymakers in GB have taken a trip to Birmingham.
  8. Among visitors, satisfaction is low and the likelihood to revisit is also below the national average.
  9. Birmingham is seen as an easy place to get to but has a less distinct profile across other attributes.
  10. The city center position and ample transport links to the Bullring attract a country-wide audience with an impressive average weekly footfall of 750,000.
  11. In 2021, Birmingham was named the UK’s top destination for business tourism outside of London.
  12. Birmingham is hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and new attractions, festivals, hotels, bars, and restaurants popping up all over the place for visitors to enjoy.
  13. The region welcomed more than 2 million international visits in 2019.
  14. Birmingham has enjoyed a 17% increase in domestic tourists and a 52 per cent rise in overseas guests since 2011.
  15. Birmingham Hippodrome is the UK’s busiest theatre with over 520,000 visitors each year.
  16. Visitor numbers have soared in Birmingham and the West Midlands, putting the region on the brink of a “triumphant return to the world stage”. A record 131 million people visited the West Midlands in 2018.

  18. Birmingham attracts younger visitors.  This with significant with more 25-34-year-olds and significantly fewer 65+-year-olds visiting the city than elsewhere in Great Britain.
  19. Findings shows that different age groups have different preferences when it comes to the type of accommodation that they would choose. The youngest generation, 18-24 year olds prefer independent, Air BnB style services, whereas 25-54 year olds would choose self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages. Those aged 55 and older preferred a mid-market hotel at the top of their priority list.
  20. Millennials said that they want to spend time together with loved ones more than any other generation (91%). With locations such as the South West, Scotland, the Lake District, Wales and Yorkshire being amongst the most popular destinations, findings also suggest that many are yearning to unwind in the beauty of the British countryside.
  21. Birmingham has a high level or rejection among domestic holiday makers, more than double that of other cities. In addition to this, among visitors, satisfaction is low and likelihood to revisit is also below the national average.

  23. Like other cities, most visitors to Birmingham stay in hotels.
  24. Among GB domestic holidaymakers, Birmingham is recognized for shopping, arts, and as an all-season destination that is more for the young.
  25. Outdoor activities are most popular on holidays in the West Midlands, although it is still below the national average. 
  26. About two in five trips to the region are business trips, which is also slightly higher than the national average.
  27. Most visitors to birmingham stay in hotels. Unlike other cities.
  28. Similarly to other city destinations, in Birmingham, hotels are the most common accommodation option. 

  30. Birmingham has seen one the UK’s highest increases in Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) of 5%, only behind other major tourist destinations, such as Brighton, Gatwick and Liverpool.
  31. The City is one of Britain’s greenest with more than one fifth of its area consisting of parks, nature reserves, allotments, golf courses and playing fields, many of which are linked by rivers, watercourses and a significant number of canals.
  32. Birmingham is a veteran destination for hosting major sports events like the World Indoor Athletics Championships and ICC Champions Trophy to name a few.
  33. Birmingham has the UK’s most beautiful skyline while Salford is least popular.
  34. Arts, cultural entertainment activities are more popular on holidays in the West Midlands when compared to the average of all holidays in England.
  35. The upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games will drive visitors to explore more of the country, stimulating spending 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 caliber.
  36. Birmingham’s tourism sector witnessed its most successful year in history in 2019, with hotel revenue, the number of visitors and the amount they spent all hitting record highs.
  37. Between 500,000 and 1-million additional visitors are expected to descend on Birmingham over Commonwealth Games Federation 11-day sporting event.
  38. The Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) aims to leverage the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to embed positive perceptions of the West Midlands into the international imagination, driving long-term economic benefits across the region, fostering civic pride.
  39. The Attingham Park was the most visited paid attraction in the English region of the West Midlands in 2020, welcoming nearly 484 thousand visitors.
  40. Hospitality businesses are already seeing their local economy benefit from increasing demand for domestic holidays. 40% have seen employment opportunities improve, 34% have seen an increase in the number of hospitality businesses in the area. 
  41. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has the world’s largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
  42. The cultural sector has been rapidly growing over the last five years (+20%) exceeding the national growth rate (+12%) and the wider economy growth rate for the WMCA area (+5%).