No.6 Neil Rami
Power 50 2009 - new entry
No.6 Neil Rami
Last year: n/a
Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, has helmed the organisation that promotes the city as it continues to grow on the world stage.
The last year has been a tough one for anyone relying on tourism or visitor numbers for a livelihood.
And the role of Marketing Birmingham has become more prominent in trying to take advantage of the focus on domestic tourism and travel.
The arrival of the Rotary Club International Convention was a coup for Birmingham, as one of the largest events to be held in the city for many years. Nearly 20,000 Rotarians from across the world arrived in Birmingham, pumping an estimated £25 million into the city’s coffers.
Marketing Birmingham was one of the local bodies working with the Rotary Host Organising Committee to put on, promote and support the convention.
Mr Rami said the high profile events were a crucial part of promoting the city in a tough time for travel. He added: “At a time when competition is increasingly tough it’s important that we maximise these opportunities and after the success of the Rotary International Convention I am keen to ensure we maintain the momentum.”
Marketing Birmingham also scored a success recently with the Taste of Birmingham event, which attracted about 14,000 people to Cannon Hill Park this year, a record number for the food festival.
Food has been key to Marketing Birmingham’s plans for promoting the city, as it picked up its third Michelin star this year.
Mr Rami joined Marketing Birmingham in 2004 from Newcastle Gateshead Initiative where he helped transform the image of the North-east from an industrial wasteland to a dynamic centre of urban renewal. Before that he was responsible for devising the tourism and marketing strategies for Liverpool and Merseyside, as marketing director of The Mersey Partnership. He has presented nationally and internationally on the themes of city marketing, tourism and urban regeneration.
His priorities for Birmingham included asserting a presence in London, developing national and local campaigns projecting a new image for the city, and linking strategies with the NEC Group and the city council.
When he arrived, he said: “The role of chief executive is quite simply, the biggest job in city marketing in this country. I am thrilled and excited to be given the opportunity to help Birmingham realise its potential. It is a big city with big ambitions and we need to make sure that it is punching its weight on the national, European and world stages.
“I would like to think that by 2010 Birmingham will have become a place that people from all over the world will want to be in and be associated with.”
As well as his role at Marketing Birmingham, he is a board member and governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a director of RSC Enterprises. He also sits on the boards of Tourism West Midlands, the West Midlands Marketing Board, Birmingham City Centre Partnership and Birmingham Economic Development Partnership.