TOURIST chiefs in Warwickshire are backing Birmingham’s bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Shakespeare England, which promotes tourism in Warwickshire, says the boost to the county’s economy could be worth millions if the city’s bid is successful.
The Glasgow Games in 2014 generated nearly £740 million for Scotland – and attracted 690,000 visitors.
Helen Peters of Shakespeare England told The Observer: “Birmingham has an excellent record for attracting big sporting events – indeed the World Indoor Athletics Championships will be in Birmingham in 2018.
“Not only do these events attract new visitors to Birmingham but help shine the spotlight on the region as a whole.
“Guests tend to visit for several days and look for other activities to entertain them during their stay.
“These ‘Sporting Tourists’ can have a really positive impact on the area, through additional bed nights, visits to local attractions, retail activity and increases in food and beverage sales.
“As a result of global press coverage they also leave a legacy that stays for several years after the event when tourists visit the area having been attracted to what they saw during the coverage of the Games.”
Birmingham has a track record for hosting prestigious sporting in the last decade – including The Ashes, the Rugby World Cup, and Diamond League athletics.
Birmingham City Council will now commission a full feasibility study and form a Commonwealth Games 2026 bid organising committee to progress the city’s bid.