Birmingham hoteliers celebrate bumper 2016
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Birmingham’s hotel sector has seen its most successful year in history, with occupancy rates for 2016 peaking at 99% capacity and averaging at 75% – both, the highest on record.
The figures released today by Marketing Birmingham’s Regional Observatory, are backed by further evidence of unprecedented growth in the region’s visitor economy. The data reveals both the proportion of international visitors and overnight visitors to the city have doubled in the last three years, bolstering Birmingham’s standing as a global tourist destination.
Overnight guests now account for 45% of all visitors, compared to 21% in 2013. Whilst the proportion of international visitors has grown from 6% to 12%, respectively, with the most visitors travelling from European countries such as France and the Netherlands, as well as from the US.
Additionally, the proportion of leisure visitors to the city has also increased – from 45% in 2013 to 76% in 2016; demonstrating a significant shift in the type of visitors the city is drawing. The Birmingham Perception Survey 2016 – a report that looks at consumer perception trends over time – confirms a step change in the city’s reputation as a tourist destination. Birmingham has witnessed the greatest improvement in perceptions of all major UK cities, with a growth of 23 percentage points in the last 12 months.
Paul Kehoe, CEO at Birmingham Airport and chairman of Marketing Birmingham, said: “Birmingham has become one of the great cultural powerhouses of Europe; this is an exciting time and proud moment for our city. International visitors are at a record high, as is domestic tourism – whilst both Birmingham Airport and the city’s hotel sector are currently celebrating their most successful year in history.
“This is the outcome of a flourishing leisure offer, a concerted effort to ensure Birmingham’s connectivity is world-class, and leveraging crucial public and private partnerships across the city. With Birmingham Airport planning to invest £100 million before the summer in enhancing its facilities, and working with Marketing Birmingham to cement our city on the global map, I’m confident Birmingham will continue to smash records.”
Visitor expenditure has contributed significantly to the local economy; with £82 spend per head in 2016, up by a third on the figure of £61 recorded in 2013. Events contributing to Birmingham’s upsurge in tourists and visitor spend last year, included: Edgbaston Stadium’s cricket fixtures (£17.7m); the Birmingham and Solihull Jazz and Blues Festival (£6.2m); the Conservative Party Conference (£18.4m) and the Frankfurt Christmas Market – which generated the highest amount of spend on record, at £400m.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR) averaged at £50 in 2016; the highest figure Birmingham has ever recorded. The average room rate for the year was £67, £5 up on 2015 and a £9 increase on 2014. The busiest day of the year for hotels was April 12th.
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