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Old August 24th, 2013, 06:42 PM   #41
BeestonLad
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What do you think of the pedestrianisation of Norwich City Centre?
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Old August 25th, 2013, 01:55 PM   #42
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A large part of the problem with the cities is that they only developed during the industrial revolution. They don't have historic market square centres etc now because they never head them, rather than them being destroyed by town planners in thr 50s/60s (although they hardly helped).

The most attractive towns are the towns that were important before the industrial revolution, places like Canterbury, Bath, York etc. The shocking thing really isn't just how little they are marketed to overseas visitors, but how little they are marketed to British tourists too. If asked to name the cities to visit apart from London, most people in Britain would have to stop and think too.

Then again, it's easy to get a misleading impression due to how little the average foreign person (who hasn't researched) would know about places to go in the UK. They'd be as equally unlikely to know much about other countries either. Someone who's never looked into going there would struggle to think of a single city apart from Paris to visit in France, or somewhere other than Berlin in Germany, or Rome in Italy.

It's why you get tour groups signing up for those one-country-a-day European breaks. They just don't know what else exists.

And before we sit back smugly laughing at such tourists, how many in Europe could think of the attractions of Brazil apart from Rio, or Argentina apart from Buenos Aires. How many wouldn't be able to name a single building (stadiums apart) in the whole of South America or Central America?
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Old August 25th, 2013, 02:14 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Rev Stickleback View Post
Then again, it's easy to get a misleading impression due to how little the average foreign person (who hasn't researched) would know about places to go in the UK. They'd be as equally unlikely to know much about other countries either. Someone who's never looked into going there would struggle to think of a single city apart from Paris to visit in France, or somewhere other than Berlin in Germany, or Rome in Italy.

It's why you get tour groups signing up for those one-country-a-day European breaks. They just don't know what else exists.

And before we sit back smugly laughing at such tourists, how many in Europe could think of the attractions of Brazil apart from Rio, or Argentina apart from Buenos Aires.
Not sure all your comparisons holds true really.

I reckon most would at least know Pisa, Venice, Milan and Firenze outside of Rome in Italy. People who are more into the country would probably be able to name Naples, Palermo, Verona, Bologna and few more cities in Italy.

Paris is probably right although many would perhaps be able to name Cannes in France too due to the Cannes Film Festival.

I would not say that Berlin is any significantly more famous here in Norway than Munich, which have gotten fame as the home of BMW, their beer festival and due to the '70s Olympic Games. Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt and other German cities are however a few notches below in terms of fame. But then again Norway is relatively close to Germany so my perception may be colored by that.

I agree with Argentina.

I think many would be able to name São Paulo in Brazil.

While that is said I do believe most would be able to name Liverpool and Manchester in addition to London in the UK at least simply due to their football teams. I doubt many would be able to name a single building in these cities however though.

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How many wouldn't be able to name a single building (stadiums apart) in the whole of South America or Central America?
I doubt most Northern Europeans would be able, but people living in the Americas and in the Southern European countries with good connection to South America would probably be able to name a few.

Last edited by Galro; August 25th, 2013 at 10:14 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 09:39 PM   #44
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I doubt most Northern Europeans would be able, but people living in the Americas and in the Southern European countries with good connection to South America would probably be able to name a few.
Maybe Spain and Portugal (but they seems a bit uninformed too as well) because of language connections; Italians are quite ignorant about South America, outside of something about Brazil because of Brazilians immigrant; they know that the two biggest cities are Rio and São Paulo, their accent, openness and physical appearance (good looking); something vague about Mexico (food, accent) but not much about the rest, although Argentina had a huge Italian immigration in the past, but most do not even know this
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Old August 25th, 2013, 09:44 PM   #45
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To return to the argument, I guess that as has been already said, it is because a few British cities have born during the industrial era so they may lack something found in continental Europe, like the grandeur in most buildings; also, their centres are a bit "sterile" to me, mostly because city planners recently did not help at all.. what I love about Britain are the more historical towns like Edinburgh (now I learned it's pronounced Edimbra!), Canterbury, Bath, York and the likes, and the countryside, which are really wonderful.. However, they should be catered better; Scotland now has built its own brand, but England and Wales outside of London (and towns around London like Oxford and Cambridge) is a bit unknown to many.. the potentials are there anyways
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Old August 25th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #46
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Maybe Spain and Portugal (but they seems a bit uninformed too as well) because of language connections; Italians are quite ignorant about South America, outside of something about Brazil because of Brazilians immigrant; they know that the two biggest cities are Rio and São Paulo, their accent, openness and physical appearance (good looking); something vague about Mexico (food, accent) but not much about the rest, although Argentina had a huge Italian immigration in the past, but most do not even know this
I'm quite surprised by that. Here in Norway we have had quite a lot of focus on Norwegian Americans who immigrated to the US and I would have expected the same with Italians and Argentina (you of course had many which went to the US too).
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Old August 25th, 2013, 10:11 PM   #47
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I'm quite surprised by that. Here in Norway we have had quite a lot of focus on Norwegian Americans who immigrated to the US and I would have expected the same with Italians and Argentina (you of course had many which went to the US too).
Here people mostly know in more details about Italian-Americans, because the US is where most Italians went, and also because US has a much larger influence on medias; in comparison, Argentina does not have much mediatic influence, add to this the fact that Italians in Argentina were less in numbers and the initial inhabitants weren't the ones from the poorest parts of Italy (Sicily, Campania &c like in the US)
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Old August 26th, 2013, 01:50 AM   #48
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I'm not sure better marketing would boost tourism to cities other than London unless we're talking about luring more Europeans to these places. Tourists from further afield are going to want to go to London.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 06:38 AM   #49
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Birmingham has a great, proud industrial heritage, but I agree that you can't simply market a city alone on that fact that it invented a Gas lighting or plastic for example. (Although this can be exploited to an extent). What it CAN market itself on is its architecture, (both old and its contemporary, with the 60s developments on the way out), its landmarks, i.e the cathedral, city hall and others. Then there's shopping, entertainment and its cultural history, such as the Tolkien, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin connections for example. Although Birmingham is not what I'd consider to be a beautiful city, it is VASTLY improving and I imagine in time will have a centre full of fantastic architecture. Then, if we play our cards right, central Birmingham will be able to balance business, retail and tourism well!
I was in Birmingham recently(also first time in the UK) to visit somebody, the town was very underwhelming for a city of 4 million. They should really build something in the center like the Seattle music experience or Cleveland rock n roll hall of fame or something to take advantage of Britain's great music history to create a real tourist attraction in the city. They city also had a lot of trash and graffiti that gave me a bad impression. I also felt like the center could have used a central park other than just the one around the cathedral.

On the positive side, I think the new st train station will be nice when finished. The center and bull ring area are nice. The free city museum was great place to spend a couple hours too.

-those are just my observations as an American
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Old August 26th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #50
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Looking at a city like Birmingham you have to consider its past where it was heavily bombed. Bombing a European inner city is like taking the soul out if it. Few cities recuperate from that and unfortunately post-war reconstruction architecture is the worst there is. I come from a town mostly destroyed in WWII and the same has happened.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 08:59 AM   #51
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I don't think birmingham has a population of 4 milion. Maybe the metropolitan area has, but that really doesn't count in Europe and certainly not in a densely populated place as England with cities very near to each other. Many people living in the Birmingham metropolitan are of Birmingham may never or only very rarely go to this city.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 09:05 AM   #52
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Urban population is over 2.4 million, but metro population is over 3.6 million.

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Looking at a city like Birmingham you have to consider its past where it was heavily bombed. Bombing a European inner city is like taking the soul out if it. Few cities recuperate from that and unfortunately post-war reconstruction architecture is the worst there is. I come from a town mostly destroyed in WWII and the same has happened.
I would add post-WWII auto-centric urban planning has done lot damage to cities around the world. At least today's urban planners are fixing or attempting to fix the mistakes of mid 20th century. BTW, what is your hometown?
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Old August 26th, 2013, 02:59 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
I'm not sure better marketing would boost tourism to cities other than London unless we're talking about luring more Europeans to these places. Tourists from further afield are going to want to go to London.
Europeans would be the main market indeed, they already make up the big majority of visitors to the UK.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #54
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Inventing gas lighting isn't a major reason why people choose their holiday destinations I think.
No. absolutely. But neither is inventing Custard. I was identifying the fact that Birmingham has played such a pivitol role in creating the world as we know it today it should be a hotbed of museums, monuments etc for which people to visit but the city is so bad at telling the world about just how much the city and it's pioneers have given to them is exactly the reason why Birmingham struggles to attract tourists. People visit cities because of their history mainly. Why is it that Birmingham hasn't used it's spectacular history to attract more tourists?? That's the question that has been posed for decades in the city and one that has never been answered. It seems we are happy to lay back, take the abuse about it being a concrete hell hole but we aren't able to stand up and say ..." look at what we've given you, come visit us and see it for yourself". It's a crying shame.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by weava View Post
I was in Birmingham recently(also first time in the UK) to visit somebody, the town was very underwhelming for a city of 4 million. They should really build something in the center like the Seattle music experience or Cleveland rock n roll hall of fame or something to take advantage of Britain's great music history to create a real tourist attraction in the city. They city also had a lot of trash and graffiti that gave me a bad impression. I also felt like the center could have used a central park other than just the one around the cathedral.

On the positive side, I think the new st train station will be nice when finished. The center and bull ring area are nice. The free city museum was great place to spend a couple hours too.

-those are just my observations as an American
This is exactly what Birmingham needs. Although firstly the city only has a population of 1.1 million. However you'll be intrigued to know that Birmingham has more parkland then any other European city. 8,000 acres are within Birmingham city. Nine parks have received the prestigious green flag award. Sutton park is also Europe's largest nature reserve. Birmingham is also the holder of the record number of consecutive golds from the Chelsea flower show. 14 and counting. The city also this year opened up it's new park at Eastside. In the city centre.

What Birmingham needs is museums. Eastside has 3 planned but they should be everywhere. Shakespeare's works are being displayed in the new central library after being hidden away for over 50 years in the old one. Thank god.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:07 PM   #56
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What about Cambridge? It seems to be quite popular among young students from all over the world due to the language schools and the university.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 09:58 PM   #57
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No. absolutely. But neither is inventing Custard. I was identifying the fact that Birmingham has played such a pivitol role in creating the world as we know it today it should be a hotbed of museums, monuments etc for which people to visit but the city is so bad at telling the world about just how much the city and it's pioneers have given to them is exactly the reason why Birmingham struggles to attract tourists. People visit cities because of their history mainly. Why is it that Birmingham hasn't used it's spectacular history to attract more tourists?? That's the question that has been posed for decades in the city and one that has never been answered. It seems we are happy to lay back, take the abuse about it being a concrete hell hole but we aren't able to stand up and say ..." look at what we've given you, come visit us and see it for yourself". It's a crying shame.
People visit historical cities usually because there are remnants of that history left to see. They want to see the buildings, and be able to walk round feeling the history around them.

The city does get a bit lumped on, but even if the place had a few museums showing off the heritage, it's still be a push to sell it as somewhere people would want to stay for three or four days. It would probably end up having to market itself as somewhere that has decent access to other places people might want to visit, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwick etc.

Sadly it's nearly impossible to think of Birmingham without thinking of Telly Savalas' overblown promotional film

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Old August 29th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #58
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But Birmingham and it's metropolitan area is home to Warwick Castle, Stratford-on-Avon, etc etc. People can stay for 3 or 4 days and visit these places quite easily.

Birmingham has the best cuisine outside London, it's home to the Balti, it has the Tolkien Trail, Busiest indoor arena in Europe, it has the 3rd largest St Patricks day parade in the world after New York and Dublin. There is so much to offer but the city doesn't promote it.

I do give them credit for this though.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...tter-days.html

Maybe "Peaky Blinders" will give the city some marketing also. It's expected to be a massive, massive hit.

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Peaky Blinders is an epic, six-part gangster drama set in the lawless streets of post-war Birmingham on the cusp of the 1920s.

Britain in 1919 is a tumultuous mix of despair and hedonism, a nation cleaned out by the extravagances of the Great War. Returning soldiers, newly minted revolutionaries and criminal gangs all fight for survival in an industrial landscape gripped by economic upheaval.

Thomas Shelby and his family run the most feared and powerful local gang, the Peaky Blinders. Named for their practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps, they make money from illegal betting, protection and the black market.

But Tommy’s ambitions go beyond running the streets, and when a crate of guns goes missing from an arms factory, he recognises an opportunity to move up in the world. Crime pays, but business pays better.

As rival gangs, Communist revolutionaries and IRA Fenians descend on Small Heath in pursuit of the weapons, Winston Churchill dispatches a ruthless police chief from Belfast to impose order on an increasingly lawless city and recover the guns.

Last edited by Birmingham; August 29th, 2013 at 11:17 AM.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 03:26 PM   #59
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I think one of the problems is that the UK simply doesn't invest in tourism marketing in general, not even for London either, but London doesn't need it whereas the other cities do.
Living in Belgium we are about as close as you can possibly get to the UK, with tons of plane/train/ferry connections and yet I never see the UK being advertised. And yet every day I see TONS of advertisements for places in France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Greece,...

Airlines never seem to advertise their flights to the UK either. People here care about London, but don't know anything about the rest of the UK.
Even though I'm sure that with the right marketing several other UK cities could boost their image and attract weekend-city-trip type visitors. If Poland, which isn't exactly a tropical paradise either, can do it, why not the UK?

This is just based on my experience living here in Belgium of course, maybe the UK has massive tourism campagnes in other countries, I wouldn't know.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 05:13 PM   #60
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You have a good point on UK tourism marketing. I live in the US and there is no marketing for UK tourism or most places in Europe. You usually see a lot of domestic and North American tourist marketing in general like the Caribbean.
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