Visit Birmingham declares city ‘Open for Christmas’

Visit Birmingham declares city ‘Open for Christmas’

Visit Birmingham has unveiled its new festive campaign in partnership with the national tourist board VisitEngland, Retail Birmingham and rail operator London Midland to boost the profile of the city during the busy festive season.

The collaborative campaign ‘Birmingham – Open for Christmas’ celebrates the festive period in Birmingham and the wider region with an integrated campaign led by Marketing Birmingham, the city’s destination marketing agency and a number of affiliate marketing partners throughout the city.

Visitors will be targeted to spend a festive break in Birmingham during Christmas and New Year via national and regional advertising, door drops, creative PR, digital and social media activity. The festive campaign also features local film star Julie Walters in a range of radio adverts urging visitors to explore Birmingham and the wider region this Christmas.

A new microsite www.christmasinbirmingham.com has been launched with festive day itineraries, seasonal tips, event information, competitions and an interactive advent calendar during the countdown to Christmas. Visit Birmingham will also run the popular Meet and Greet coach service to the Frankfurt Christmas Market, welcoming groups via coach from across the UK.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Marketing Birmingham, which manages the Visit Birmingham programme, said:

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“With the launch of the Frankfurt Christmas Market – the largest of its kind in the UK – just days away, Birmingham is very much ‘Open for Christmas’.

“Birmingham is at its very best during the festive period. Working collaboratively with partners across the city, we have designed an innovative campaign which shines the spotlight on Birmingham’s unique Christmas offering including our acclaimed dining scene, fantastic family attractions, cultural gems and a world-class retail offer.

“The campaign aims to showcase the city’s strengths as a visitor destination helping to attract additional tourists – not only during the festive period, but the year round – and build on the city’s record visitor numbers which have risen by 10% over the last six years.”

The city’s Christmas campaign boasts a new stylish creative which aims to lure visitors to Birmingham this winter. Inspired by the city’s unbeatable shopping offer the creative features a festive retail window display, complete with fashion models posing against a Birmingham themed backdrop. The striking creative nods to the city’s unique selling points at Christmas – over 1,000 shops within a 20 minute walk in the city centre, a world-class food scene, fantastic visitor attractions and the biggest Frankfurt Christmas Market in the UK.

Jonathan Cheetham, Chair of Retail Birmingham, the Business Improvement District for Birmingham city centre’s retail heart and headline sponsor of the campaign, said:

“As one of the most popular places to shop in the UK, Birmingham is the destination of choice for Christmas shopping. The city boasts a fantastic retail offer – shoppers can expect to find everything from independent outlets to flagship stores such as Selfridges and iconic retail centres including Bullring and The Mailbox.

“The ‘Open for Christmas’ campaign is a national showcase for the city’s growing retail scene, designed to drive business in the city’s shopping area and boost the local economy during the important Christmas period.”

The collaboration between Visit Birmingham and travel sponsor London Midland furthers the partnership between the two parties – the campaign will target passengers along key London Midland routes to travel to the city by train.

London Midland’s Head of Marketing, David Whitley commented:

“Our services run direct into the heart of the city, so as soon as you step off the train you’re right in the middle of all the festive delights Birmingham has on offer this season – and with so much going on we hope you’ll be back on board for more.”

The campaign is in part funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and is part of a three year investment programme called ‘Growing Tourism Locally’, coordinated by the national tourist board VisitEngland. The nationwide programme aims to inspire UK holidaymakers to rediscover and take advantage of England’s outstanding visitor attractions and will see £19.8m invested in promoting UK holidays and attractions, creating 9,100 jobs nationally in the process.  Visit Birmingham has secured over £400,000 from the RGF with the aim of stimulating 239 local jobs.

The festive campaign is also supported by Retail Birmingham, London Midland, Birmingham City Council and the Business Improvement Districts – The Jewellery Quarter, Brindleyplace, Broad Street, Southside and Colmore Business District.

A range of visitor attractions, shopping destinations and local businesses have also backed Birmingham’s latest Christmas campaign including The Mailbox, Aston Manor Brewery, Birmingham Museums Trust, New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Birmingham REP, National Sea Life Centre Birmingham and Cadbury World.