Tourism: West Midlands

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Independent, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to increase tourism in the West Midlands.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

A number of the projects funded by the £40 million Discover England Fund, launched by Government in 2016 and delivered by VisitEngland, are based in the West Midlands and aim to support and increase visits and spend by international tourists to the region through the provision of innovative, bookable itineraries and routes:

  • The England’s Waterways project encourages visitors to explore the region by narrowboat, on bikes or on foot via its extensive network of canals and towpaths, and visit towns and cities such as Coventry and Warwick.
  • The England Originals project provides a range of multi-day rail itineraries starting in London that allow tourists to visit historic cities across England; the itinerary Thinkers and Writers includes Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • The Experience England project is aimed at the millennial market in China, GCC countries and India, providing itineraries spanning cities and countryside that allow tourists to fly into one airport and out of another. One itinerary brings tourists to Birmingham and attractions such as the Bullring and Cadbury World

The region will also host two major arts and culture and sporting events in the coming years:

In the past three years, IPS data indicates that inbound tourism to the West Midlands has hit new heights, welcoming 2.38 million visitors in 2017 and 2.2 million in 2018. Last year these visitors spent £836 million, a year-on-year increase of 4%.

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