September 2019

UCB set for key role in boosting West Midlands tourism as new regional strategy announced

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University College Birmingham will play a key part in boosting tourism in the West Midlands following the unveiling of a new strategy to grow the region’s visitor economy.

Staff from UCB were in attendance at the launch of the West Midlands Growth Company's (WMGC) Tourism Strategy at the Library of Birmingham on Wednesday morning.

The plan outlines a vision for expanding tourism in the region over the next decade with a focus on major events, business tourism, widening the leisure tourism base and attracting key markets in China, North America, Germany, Australia and India.

The strategy, which also supports Birmingham’s airport masterplan, is expected to produce an additional £1 billion in revenue for the region, as well as creating 19,000 new jobs and 8,000 bedspaces.

One of the key elements of the strategic framework is the development of relevant skills to support these new job opportunities.

And with considerable expertise in the fields of aviation and tourism – including recognition as an Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) Centre of Excellence – UCB is excellently placed to help support current and future students to meet this demand.

Tourism continues to grow in the West Midlands, attracting a record 131 million visitors in 2018, while the region is set to play host to major events in the next few years, including the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022 and Coventry City of Culture 2021.

Michelle Callanan, Assistant Dean of Tourism and Aviation at UCB, attended the WMGC event on Wednesday along with Senior Curriculum Leader Dan Connell.

"The new tourism strategy presents a very strong commitment and partnership to tourism within the region," said Michelle. "Along with the Government's recent new tourism sector deal, it showcases the importance of tourism to both the national and global economy.

"We are delighted that our successful tourism programmes focus on developing strategies to operate within a dynamic and disruptive environment and we expect to work closely with WMGC to achieve their vision."

The news comes ahead of the launch of exciting new facilities for aviation and tourism students at UCB planned for this autumn, including a state-of-the-art mock plane cabin, check-in areas and Galileo GDS system.

Find out more about UCB's range of courses in aviation, travel and tourism at The Business School here.

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