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Birmingham's £7B Tourist Dividend Argues For Hotel Rethink

Edgebaston — one of Birmingham's big visitor attractions

Doubters who thought that Birmingham's tourist economy couldn't generate real economic benefits may need to think again.

Even before the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the city's visitor economy has been valued at more than £7B.

The robust figures could stimulate more development interest in the city's hospitality sector. Despite having the U.K.'s third largest stock of hotel beds Colliers International's U.K. Hotels Market Index 2018 ranks occupier interest in the city as "moderate" with 770 beds in the development pipeline, roughly double the figure in 2016. Last week Native, the aparthotel brand, submitted a planning application to open a 173-room aparthotel at Louisa Ryland House, Edmund Street, Birmingham.

Colliers reported that Birmingham has slipped in their overall rankings from 10th to 19th place thanks to higher-than-average build costs and sluggish growth of revenue per available room. RevPAR has risen just 2% 2016-17, in common with Manchester and London.

New data from West Midlands Growth Co. shows the number of full-time equivalent jobs supported by the visitor economy has risen by 7.2% since 2016, rising from 70,635 to 75,748, The Birmingham Post reports.

The figures reveal that Birmingham attracted 41.8 million visitors in 2017, clocking up £7.1B in visitor spending, up 9% on 2016.

Average hotel occupancy stood at 75%, holding steady after a record-breaking performance in 2016. Average revenue per room was up to £51, also a record.