New York Times ‘hearts’ Birmingham

Birmingham Bullring
31 January 2011

Newspaper highlights the city’s offer to international visitors

Birmingham is firmly in the hearts of the Big Apple, with a recent article penned by The New York Times lauding “England’s heartland metropolis” as “big-shouldered, friendly and fun.”

36 Hours in Birmingham’ – the second New York Times article praising Birmingham to be published in less than a month – is a whistle-stop tour of the city’s heritage, lesser known ‘hidden gems’ and its sprawling suburbs, teeming with culture.

Written by travel writer Mark Vanhoenacker, the city’s burgeoning culinary scene, beautiful canals,  fantastic shopping offer and heavy metal heritage are just some of the highlights to be named, with Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter district – where an estimated 40% of the UK’s jewellery is made – and world-famous Balti Triangle tipped as ‘must-sees’.

The article, published on The New York Times online, is the second piece to be printed by the newspaper this January after Birmingham was named number 19 in its ‘45 Places to Go in 2012’ shortlist - the only English city outside of London to be selected. The city’s foodie credentials and diverse dining scene earned Birmingham the nineteenth spot in the acclaimed shortlist, with local talents including Aktar Islam of Lasan Restaurant and Michelin star chefs Glynn Purnell, Richard Turner and Luke Tipping praised for their culinary flair.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham – which runs the Visit Birmingham campaign - said:

“It’s fitting that this piece highlights Birmingham as an international destination, with so many events showcasing the city planned for the next few months.

“Marketing Birmingham has worked hard with partners to improve its reputation as a visitor destination in recent years by reinforcing our fantastic foodie offer, our diverse cultural heritage and excellence in hosting major sporting events. 

“Our Michelin star chefs and fine dining restaurant scene have catapulted the city into the culinary spotlight, while our cultural offer, including a range of independent festivals, ensures the city remains at the cutting edge and offers something for everyone.

“In addition, we have a huge summer of sport in Birmingham, including hosting the US and Jamaican track teams ahead of the London 2012 Olympics Games, in addition to the Olympic trials, international Test cricket and the World BMX Championships.”

Anna Gibson, marketing specialist for the Jewellery Quarter, added:

“A rare and exceptional experience awaits the visitor to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Given the unique nature of this designated conservation area, and with the initiatives being developed, it is no surprise that increased numbers of visitors are coming to experience the wonderful world of craftsmanship of jewellery and giftware manufacturing that Birmingham has to offer.”

Visitor numbers to the city rose to 32.8 million in 2010, up from 32.6 million the previous year – 740,000 of which were overseas visitors, spending a total of £249 million

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