London, Manchester and Birmingham jointly launch international tourism drive

London, Manchester and Birmingham jointly launch international tourism drive

England’s largest cities to promote the ultimate English tourism experience

The UK’s three largest cities, London, Manchester and Birmingham have formed an alliance to jointly promote the best of English tourism in three of the world’s fastest growing markets: China, India and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries. The partnership, which will see the three English cities collaborate on tourism for the first time, will focus on increasing the number of visitors arriving in one city and then travelling across the different regions.

The project, called “Experience England” and led by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency, has the backing of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street. It will be financed by a £1.2m grant awarded to London & Partners as part of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million fund administered by VisitEngland and which is designed to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing tourism industry.

The project will create and promote a new England tourism experience, making it easy for customers from China, India and the GCC to visit the great cities of London, Manchester and Birmingham and then go on to explore the beautiful English countryside and villages. Research by London & Partners shows that fewer than a third of visitors staying overnight in the capital go on to stay overnight elsewhere in the country. Yet the same research shows that levels of visitor satisfaction increase significantly when people do visit other destinations.

The tourism and hospitality sector is a vital, and growing industry for major cities. In the UK tourism makes up 9 per cent of GDP. In London, the figure is higher at 11.6 per cent. In 2016, almost 1.5 million visitors arrived in the UK from China, India and the GCC, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to data from VisitBritain.

China, India and the GCC are projected to be some of the fastest growing tourism markets in the world. Figures from London & Partners also show the number of visitors to London from the three countries are expected to increase sharply by 2025.

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