Birmingham will this week launch a new destination marketing campaign entitled ‘Christmas is Bigger in Birmingham’ as it gears up for a spectacular festive offering and anticipates record numbers of seasonal visitors.
The campaign is led by the city’s official tourism programme Visit Birmingham in conjunction with Retail Birmingham and travel partner London Midland. Creative agency heavyweight Saatchi Masius will spearhead an adjacent multimedia campaign to showcase the breadth of Birmingham’s retail, culinary and cultural visitor offer.
The city’s 2016 Christmas line-up includes: the longest-spanning Frankfurt Christmas Market in the city to date (November 17 – December 29), Christmas production The Nutcracker at the country’s busiest theatre The Birmingham Hippodrome (November 25 – December 13), and the most elaborate luxury retail offer outside London; boasting Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, House of Fraser, Debenhams and John Lewis. The return of Ice Skate Birmingham and the Big Wheel to Centenary Square will add to the array of festive activities (November 19 – January 8th).
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Visit Birmingham, said:
Each year, Birmingham’s show-stopping festive offer boosts the region’s visitor economy as it draws interest not just domestically but from across the world. Working in collaboration with partners throughout the city, our campaign aims to capitalise on this interest, capturing the imagination of potential visitors far and wide.
The city’s unique combination of attractions and venues – ranging from Cadbury World, to the Royal Ballet at The Birmingham Hippodrome – make Birmingham a firm family-favourite over the holiday period.
Our Christmas market is the biggest outside Germany and Austria, whilst the neighbouring ice skate ring and illuminated Birmingham Big Wheel transform the city into a true Winter Wonderland. There’s no better place for a festive break with Christmas so much bigger in Birmingham.
Jonathan Cheetham, Chair of Retail Birmingham, added:
Birmingham is a fabulous destination for Christmas shopping. With five department stores, plus Grand Central, the Bullring and The Mailbox and over 100 independents, there’s something for everyone when looking for presents for loved ones. Add to that the city’s thriving food and drink offer plus the Frankfurt Christmas Market and Ice Rink; it really is the best place to be this year.
2016 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Frankfurt-Birmingham partnership. The collaboration between both cities has resulted in numerous joint projects and initiatives over the years, including the world-renowned annual Christmas markets hosted in Birmingham since 2000.
Kick-starting the festive fun is the Christmas Lights Switch On, which will coincide with the opening of the Frankfurt Christmas Markets on November 17. The switch on will take place at 5.30pm in Victoria Square, and will be carried out by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and Lord Mayor of Frankfurt.
The improved connectivity provided by Birmingham’s infrastructure developments in 2015, including the £600 million transformation of New Street Station, the Midland Metro Link extension from the city’s Snow Hill Station and new routes into Birmingham Airport, are all anticipated to bring more visitors to the city over the festive period.
Kate Brown, Campaigns Manager at London Midland, added:
There is a real buzz around Birmingham right now. This is in part thanks to the £600 million redeveloped New Street Station – a landmark building providing an impressive welcome to many of the city’s visitors. The city’s transformed infrastructure, seamless connectivity and vibrant cultural offering make it the ideal place to get into the festive spirit.
Shaune Jordaan, Managing Director of Saatchi Masius, added:
We are delighted to be working on such an iconic project for the UK’s fastest growing and most dynamic city.
Visitors can find more information on Birmingham’s Christmas activities on – http://visitbirmingham.com/christmas/ or can follow the hashtag #ChristmasInBham on Twitter.