Destinations

VisitBritain shows Aussie trade another side of the UK

VisitBritain has just wrapped up a whirlwind week hosting Australian travel trade and media in London and the West Midlands for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Off the back of its Another Side of Britain campaign, which showcases Great Britain’s hidden gems and best-kept secrets, Britain’s destination marketing arm kicked off an action-packed seven days on 27 July in partnership with West Midlands Growth Company.

Joining the group was Sarah Gerrand (Helloworld’s global partnerships manager), Claire Hanney  (The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) GM of tourism experiences), Tim Holden (Flight Centre’s business leader for product, design and delivery), Sasha McAlister (content marketing specialist for TTC), Rob McFarland (freelance travel writer) and Ali Coulton (TravelWeekly’s editor).

Back row: (L-R) George Christakis, West Midlands Growth Company’s Ellie Mellor and Tom Marlow, and in front: Sasha McAlister, Sarah Gerrand, Ali Coulton, Rob McFarland, Tim Holden and Claire Hanney

VisitBritain’s commercial manager for Australia and New Zealand George Christakis hosted the group with the company’s director for APMEA & North Asia Tricia Warwick flying in from Dubai to join the fun.

The group met up in London last Wednesday evening for a walking tour of the city’s iconic West End precinct before a delicious dinner at the sought-after Jason Atherton-helmed restaurant, Berners Tavern.

Sarah, Rob, Ali and Sasha exploring London’s West End with London Walks Tour Guide Simon Whitehouse

Arriving in Birmingham the next day, the group strolled along the picturesque canals of Brindley Place (featured image) before heading to Alexander Stadium for the star-studded Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, where we watched the high-scale production in awe and enjoyed headline appearances from the likes of Duran Duran, Malala Yousafzai, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Cadbury World

For the next five days, our savvy host Christakis treated us to once-in-a-lifetime Commonwealth Games experiences, including watching beach volleyball, artistic gymnastics, swimming and para-swimming with jaw-dropping excursions exploring Birmingham and its surrounds in between.

Balti making experience at Shababs

A few standouts included seeing the awe-inspiring Coventry cathedral ruins, watching a performance of Richard III in Shakespeare’s hometown, learning the secrets behind Birmingham’s famous Balti dishes and uncovering all the hidden wonders of England’s second city.

George and Sasha at Borough Markets during the Small Car Big City tour

The group returned to London on Tuesday to enjoy a spectacular tour zipping between the city’s iconic sights in Mini Coopers with Small Car Big City followed by dinner at Coppa by the Tower.

Checking out Neals Yard with Small Car Big City guide Tom

We will provide more in-depth details about the spectacular experiences on offer in the West Midlands in the coming days, so keep an eye on our newsletter for more.



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