Express & Star

Record number of tourists visit the Black Country as tens of millions make their way to region

The Black Country attracted a record 33 million visitors in 2022 and saw the biggest boost to its visitor economy in the whole West Midlands.

More than five million people came to Birmingham city centre during Commonwealth Games-time

The region saw an impressive 27 per cent rise in its visitor economy, from £1.2bn in 2019 to £1.5bn in 2022, according to figures revealed by the West Midlands Growth Company and Global Tourism Solutions.

Swathes of tourists flocked here thanks to events including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Visitor numbers have been so successful the West Midlands Growth Company says the region is 12 months ahead of schedule for its post-Covid recovery.

The region’s economic development agency says the West Midlands’ visitor economy is now worth a record £14.1bn, after welcoming 141.2 million visitors last year.

Neil Rami, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, said: “The West Midlands was the place to be in 2022, reflected by record visitor numbers to our region’s tourism and hospitality settings.”

Tourists spent 41 per cent of their money on retail, 21 per cent on food and drink, and 15 per cent on recreational activities.