Brits seeking festive escapes to Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM is the fastest growing destination for British tourists during Christmas and New Year’s Eve for 2013-14, revealed in their newest report.

Bookings to Birmingham have increased by a staggering 118% for the festive period, showing that Brits may be opting for a festive trip to the Midlands rather than travelling to Germany to get the German mulled wine, beer or crepes.

Andy Washington, Managing Director says: “Birmingham may seem an unlikely contender to typically festive destinations, New York and London, however, it appears that the German market and great shopping options in the city are quickly becoming a central attraction in the annual Christmas calendar”

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market, the biggest outdoor market outside of Germany, has seen more and more tourists each year during the last 12 years of being the centrepiece of the city’s annual Christmas events calendar.

Debbie Harrison, Birmingham City Council press officer says: “Footfall in Paradise Forum and New Street was up by 15 per cent in the first week and 20 per cent in the second week of the market which suggests that visitor figures will again be very high.”

David Whitney, head of marketing at London Midland, confirmed that activity across the train company’s routes mirrored Expedia’s figures. Whitney said: “Birmingham is definitely a popular place to visit this season. Last week London Midland saw record-breaking numbers for people travelling by train around the West Midlands.”

Recent statistics from the UK’s hotel booking service also showed a 24% increase in bookings to Birmingham’s hotels over the past four months.

Emma Gray, director of marketing services at Visit Birmingham, said: “Birmingham’s festive offer grows stronger every year, with a record number of visitors tempted by the city’s magical Christmas events.”

Apart from Birmingham, Ireland and Scotland have also been popular during this festive period with bookings to Glasgow and Dublin rising by 82% and 84% respectively.