If ever there was a need for the City of Wolverhampton to have a robust tourism plan in place it is now with the advent of the first Chinese tourists with direct access to flights into and out of Birmingham International Airport.
For far too long Wolverhampton has not targeted what it has, and has not placed enough resources into marketing its thousand years of history, nor its outstanding attractions enough. I know people will say they have heard this line from me before! Yes…they have. In fact I first raised these issue Ten Years ago and I still have the speech.
Now with the Birmingham China air route in place to boost the West Midlands regional economy, we need to also be burnishing our assets!
As well as providing a major boost to the regional economy, the new Birmingham Airport service to China will bring wider economic benefits to the rest of the UK, according to Patrick McLoughlin MP.
The first passengers landed today (3 July) on a flight from China in the first of an extended series of flights, which, if developed into a daily service, could deliver an additional £81m to the UK economy each year, including £62m per year for the West Midlands.
The Boeing 767-300 aircraft, operated by Hainan Airlines, arrived this morning with 233 passengers visiting the UK on organised package tours.
This is the first in a series of flights that will see more than 4,000 Chinese visitors to the region over the summer months through packages offered by Caissa Touristic, one of China’s largest tour operators. Patrick McLoughlin said: “Airports play a vital role in our long-term economic plan so this route between Birmingham and China is a great step forward.
“The new service will showcase the West Midlands to thousands of visitors and potential investors.
“Birmingham Airport’s work towards a daily service shows their commitment to creating opportunities and new jobs in the region.” In a forthcoming report being undertaken by York Aviation, the transport analysts say that “such a flight could support additional Gross Value Added in the region of around £62m a year and around 1350 jobs.”
In addition, York Aviation says that the time savings for passengers in the West Midlands, able to fly from Birmingham to China rather than via Heathrow, would be worth £5m a year to the economy.