Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has launched a new book aimed at attracting students and retaining graduates in Birmingham.

The new pocket-size glossy guide is the first of its kind in England and comes after the publisher joined forces with Marketing Birmingham and the city’s five universities and colleges.

Birmingham: Your Life Starts Here features information about retail, culture, food and hints and tips from current students and graduates. The author of the 96-page guide describes Birmingham as a “safe, intriguing, exciting and ultimately rewarding place for young people”.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said the description was ‘strong vindication’ of what the city has to offer to students and graduates.

He said: “I think it marks an important milestone for us in our student Birmingham campaign.

“The aim of the campaign is to attract more students to the city and to encourage graduates to build their careers here.

“We have over 60,000 students living and studying in Birmingham. Our universities are doing a terrific job, this year we saw a 16 per cent increase in student applications and we know that two thirds of the region’s graduates now find careers here but if we are to be really successful we need to continue to attract and keep, the brightest and the best.”

Alex Cheeseman, business development manager at Lonely Planet, said a journalist spent two weeks in the city to put together the guide.

Liz Murphy, director of Recruitment at University of Birmingham, said: “Birmingham is a fabulous city and it’s a great shame it is misunderstood. The guide is fantastic because it shouts about all the great things there are the city.”