City region targets locals to kick-start tourism sector
Marketing Liverpool has launched a major campaign aimed at kickstarting the city’s visitor economy.
Under the brand ‘Love Your Liverpool’, the drive is targeted at residents in the Liverpool City Region and immediate surrounding areas, encouraging them to rediscover the city’s culture, hospitality, retail and visitor experiences.
The visitor economy, which has grown year-on-year for the past decade, is now worth £3.3bn to Liverpool annually and supports more than 38,000 jobs.
Recent analysis from Liverpool City Council showed leisure, creative and cultural businesses constitute 38% of the city’s economy, and 49.8% of business rates.
But tourism has been especially badly hit by the coronavirus crisis, and now faces a Summer without the many international visitors the city can usually expect to welcome.
As more people are choosing not to travel this year, it’s hoped that locals will make the most of ‘holidaying at home’ instead.
The Love Your Liverpool campaign will be the starting point of the sector’s recovery in the city.
It brings together small independent cafes, famous institutions, solo operators and multinational brands, all of whom need local support more than ever.
The city already looks quite different to before coronavirus – the Liverpool Without Walls project has seen parklets built on Bold Street and increased outdoor seating across the city, museums and attractions have new measures to stay socially-distanced and there are rules in shops to ensure everyone’s safety.
Businesses are also being encouraged to apply for ‘We’re Good to Go’, a free industry standard and kitemark scheme operated by VisitEngland.
Designed as a way to ensure businesses follow public health guidance and give customers confidence, several Liverpool businesses have signed up and received their accreditation already.
The campaign is being delivered by Marketing Liverpool on behalf of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN) and Liverpool City Council, and with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Culture and tourism has been the rocket fuel that has fired Liverpool’s regeneration over the last couple of decades.
“We now need local people to spend time enjoying what’s attracted visitors from all over the world to our city in record numbers in recent years.
“Spending your Liverpool pound here in the city will go directly in to the local economy and ensure the survival of many much-loved businesses.”
Donna Howitt, marketing & communications director at city centre retail site Liverpool One and chair of the LVEN marketing group, said: “Our aim with this campaign is to remind residents of what’s on their doorstep, and provide inspiration to head back out and rediscover the city.
“Our research shows that people are very keen to go out into restaurants, shops and visitor experiences again, so it’s a great relief that places are now opening up.
“However we are a long way from being out of the woods yet, and these businesses need your support more than ever.”
Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “We’re used to running campaigns promoting Liverpool around the world, but now the priority is absolutely on our local audience.
“The visitor economy employs a huge number of people in this city, and many of the biggest success stories are local entrepreneurs.
“However, coronavirus has dealt a severe blow to businesses across the sector. With greatly reduced visitors in the next few months, it’s simply crucial that we stick together and support the businesses in the city when they need it most.”