Visit Birmingham launches group travel campaign

Visit Birmingham is targeting groups of potential visitors with a national marketing campaign this March, as part of its ongoing strategy to build on its group travel market and the one million coach visitors that come to Birmingham each year.

The city’s leisure tourism programme will position Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull as ideal destinations for groups to spend a weekend break via national advertising in travel trade media, creative PR, digital and social media activity. The six month campaign, which runs until the end of September, features a striking campaign visual urging groups to ‘Stay, Dine, See, Explore’ in the region. A revamped group travel website (www.visitbirmingham.com/group-travel) including themed itineraries, booking information and downloadable maps will be launched at the end of March helping those looking to plan trips away with family and friends.

The campaign will build on Birmingham’s growing group travel market which welcomes 20,000 coaches each year and follows a successful festive period which saw coach bookings to the Frankfurt Christmas Market rocket. Visit Birmingham’s ‘Meet and Greet’ coach service experienced a rise of over a third in bookings and passengers numbers (36%, 37%) compared to the previous year, with visitors travelling from over 40 locations including Sheffield, Peterborough, Teignmouth, and Bedford.

Emma Gray, director of marketing services for Visit Birmingham, which works to increase visitor numbers to the region annually, said: “Birmingham and the wider region is already popular with groups looking to experience world-class food, culture and shopping. The group travel market is a key target as we aim to build on the 63 million visitors that come to the region each year, and increase the number of tourists staying overnight.

“Our new group travel campaign will shine a spotlight on the region’s diverse visitor offer while also highlighting the things that matter most to groups – our fantastic attractions, unrivalled  accessibility, wide-ranging accommodation offer and above all else, our famed hospitality.”

Visit Birmingham’s group travel campaign is part of a drive which will also see the region promoted at key industry events. In the lead up to the launch, Visit Birmingham will be flying the region’s flag at two influential travel trade exhibitions which bring destinations face to face with tour operators in a bid to generate new business.

On 13-14 March, the team will be hosting an exhibition stand at Best of Britain and Ireland (BOBI) at the National Exhibition Centre – the UK’s largest travel trade event welcomes over 2,000 trade visitors and tour operators from across the globe. Visit Birmingham continues its group travel outreach at March Marketplace on 18-19 March at Wembley Stadium, which provides a platform to meet with nearly 200 international buyers from over 20 markets including US, China, India and Germany.

Emma concluded: “Events such as BOBI present a unique opportunity to promote the region to the key players in the group travel industry, bringing the team face to face with tour operators and travel companies.

“A continued presence at key travel trade exhibitions is crucial to help grow the region’s developing group travel market, with events providing a platform to mix with industry professionals and generate new business leads.”