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Marketing Birmingham praises Government's new tourism strategy

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By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

March 4, 2011 | 3 min read

Marketing Birmingham has praised the recognition of the tourism industry by the Government following the announcement that it is set to implement a new tourism strategy

The strategy will include modifying existing tourist boards, due to the ‘failure’ of its current growth plan in order to steady the economy and create jobs.

Tourism Minister John Penrose announced earlier today that he would aim to ‘repair marketing failure’ by making changes to tourist boards to become smaller and more focused.

Already organisations such as VisitBritain have seen significant budget and job cuts being made in recent weeks, while the organisation has been given the target of also bringing in an extra £2 billion in revenue through tourism.

The use of smartphone apps will also be utilised in order to deliver the set targets.

Tim Manson, operations and policy director for Marketing Birmingham, prised the strategy for recognising the ‘viral role’ that tourism will play in revitalising the economy, claiming that the industry had been ‘undervalued’ for too long.

“The visitor economy is significant for Birmingham. Its growing reputation as a city break destination saw it welcome 32.6 million visitors in 2009 - an increase of 400,000 from the previous 12 months, contributing to a visitor economy worth £4.6 billion.” Continued Manson.

“We support measures to extend the tourism season, as a longer period would provide opportunities to attract more visitors to the city throughout the year, and strengthen their economic impact.”

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He added that the outlined strategy of utilising private sector partnerships was a model already being used by Marketing Birmingham, and allows it to respond to local and national industry needs.

“As a commercial operation, we are also focused on the economic output and growth of the sector with a market orientated ethos, as well as the responsibility and accountability of a public body,” Manson concluded.

Marketing Birmingham will also been impacted by city council budget cuts, losing £500,000 of funding for the next financial year.

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