With the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Australia, a light projection will be displayed onto Campbell’s Cove in The Rocks precinct in Sydney on 18 March.

The announcement:

To coincide with the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Australia, a spectacular light projection to mark the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, will be projected onto Campbell’s Cove in The Rocks precinct in Sydney for one night only.

The projection, taking place on 18th March, will showcase the Baton’s epic journey across the Commonwealth so far, as well as provide an opportunity for Aussies to meet Birmingham and the West Midlands – host region of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Located in the heart of Britain, the West Midlands is a region bustling with vibrant cities, beautiful countryside, world-class tourism venues and engaging attractions. Home to Coventry, the UK City of Culture 2021, and the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the region is under the spotlight as a must-visit tourist destination.

The Birmingham 2022 Festival launched at the start of March and will feature hundreds of creative commissions across the region. The six-month long celebration will celebrate creativity in the West Midlands and benefit hundreds of artists, and thousands of participants, communities and audiences.

Hosted by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism programme (BATP), the visual projection will also showcase innovation and investment into arts, tourism and culture in the region.

Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Australia, will be attending to highlight that now is the time for Australians to experience the joy of travelling again and why Birmingham and the West Midlands should be high on the priority list.

Fiona Allan current CEO of Opera Australia and former Artistic Director & Chief Executive at the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre in the UK, will draw on the nation’s mutual ambitions surrounding the visitor economy. Joining her will be Maria Sykes, Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, at VisitBritain.

The Rocks lights up as Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay arrives in Sydney
The Rocks lights up as Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay arrives in Sydney

The region will leverage the profile generated by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to boost the global reputation of Birmingham, the West Midlands, and the UK, as a leading destination for tourism.

Work to support tourism businesses across the West Midlands to ensure that more bookable products are available for the travel trade to contract, and can provide a variety of other support to travel trade buyers and the industry. This includes destination information, sample travel itineraries, downloadable trade guides, imagery, video and other toolkit content, as well as familiarisation visits for buyers and trade media.

There was an average of 70,000 visits per year from Australian tourists to the West Midlands in 2017-2019, and the amount spent in the region per year by Australian tourists has increased by approximately 61% between 2010 and 2019. More than 1,300 businesses in the West Midlands exported goods to Australia in 2020, worth more than £350m.

VisitBritain CEO Sally Balcombe said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating the Queen’s Baton Relay arriving in Australia in the run-up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and to be showcasing the vibrant and diverse West Midlands region in England, inspiring bookings. From its renowned heritage and buzzing city attractions to its contemporary art, immersive culture and innovative food and drink scene, the West Midlands is packed with exciting experiences for travellers to come and enjoy, in the lead-up to the Games and beyond.

“Australia is one of the UK’s most valuable inbound tourism markets, a billion pound market delivering more than one million visits in 2019. We know there is pent-up demand for travel and the Games are a timely and valuable opportunity to highlight experiences that visitors can only have in Britain and to celebrate our friendship and connections as we welcome Australians back to our shores.”

Becky Frall, Head of Visitor Attraction at the West Midlands Growth Company, said: “For Australians looking for a destination which is full of rich history, engaging arts and culture, and a mouth-watering food offer, they need look no further than the West Midlands’ destinations. As we mark the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Australia, heralding the summer’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, it is an opportunity to showcase our culture, event and foodie offer, demonstrating why the West Midlands is a must-visit destination which Australian visitors should add to their British itinerary this year, now that border restrictions have been lifted.”

In the spirit of making connections across the globe, the Queen’s Baton Relay is also accompanied by a Commonwealth-wide relay of words and art: The Relaytionship.

The unique piece of ‘hyper hybrid art’ invites individuals from every corner of the Commonwealth to contribute their own unique words to the evolving piece of artwork.

Amerah Saleh has produced a spoken word manifesto as part of the artwork. This will prompt people around the world to contribute a word, image or video to the artwork.

Source: Weber Shandwick