Tourism figures show continued upward trend

Posted 14th August 2018
6 minutes read
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Latest figures show Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy is now worth over £4.5bn, last year welcomed 64m visitors to the region and supports over 53,500 jobs.

Liverpool remained the fifth most visited destination in the UK for overseas visitors – this is supported by hotel occupancy data which showed a 2.2% increase for overnight staying trips.

These findings are contained in the latest independent research for 2017 commissioned by the Visitor Economy Team at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Headline city region-wide figures show:

  • The region welcomed over 64.2m visitors to the region – a 2.7% increase. This comprised of 59m day visitors (up 2.8%) and 5.3m staying visitors, up 2.6% on the previous year.
  • Those staying in paid accommodation rose by 3.6% to 2.6m – the economic impact from this alone rising by 8.9% to £0.95bn.
  • Consequently, the region has enjoyed increased employment in the sector – over 53,500 jobs, an increase of 3.5%.

For Liverpool alone:

  • A 1.9% increase in visitor numbers – up to 35.4m.
  • A 2.2% increase in the number of staying visitors (2.6m) – including a 2.1% increase in serviced accommodation days.
  • The wider benefit of this growth is the 3.2% rise in jobs – to almost 35,000 in Liverpool.
  • The economic impact in Liverpool is now £3.02bn – a rise of 5.6% in the last year.

These figures are published by the STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity) model, which is used throughout the UK tourism industry to measure economic impact of the visitor economy, and International Passenger Survey. The results are calculated using a range of tourism inputs including hotel occupancy, transport figures, attractions attendance figures and event figures.

Long term trends show that from 2009 to 2017, there has been 66% growth in the economic value of the visitor economy to the Liverpool City Region, rising from £2.73bn to £4.53bn – this is equivalent to an average growth of around 6.5% per year. Over the same period there has been an increase in the number of day and staying visitors, rising annually from 52.3m in 2009 to 64.2m in total by 2017.

Placed in wider context, Visit Britain’s annual summary, shows an increase of 4.3% in inbound tourism visits in the last year, with the City Region recording nearly 3% growth in 2017. However, the City Region has enjoyed nearly 3% growth in the number of days that visitors stayed, whilst the rest of the UK saw a fall of 1.3% on average.

This may be attributable to the combination of several positive factors including increasing access to the city region through key hubs such as Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which in the last year saw 4.95 million passengers use the Airport, an increase of almost 3%, compared to 2016 and the Airport’s highest annual figures since 2011.

The international appeal of high profile events across the region such as the Open Golf Championship in Sefton to The River Festival in Liverpool, coupled with an annual uplift of 3.5% in the average income per occupied room (ADR) across the year will also have contributed to the positive impacts recorded in 2017.

Also underpinning this growth is the widely reported Brexit effect, which has made the UK a cheaper destination for overseas tourists, and domestically, boosted the trend towards staycations, as the low pound has increased the cost of holidaying abroad.

Peter Sandman, Head of Visitor Economy for the LEP, said: “In the ten years since Liverpool became European Capital of Culture, the city, and region as a whole has seen the visitor economy experience a healthy growth and the sector continues to contribute significantly to the region’s economy.

“It is particularly encouraging to see our overseas visitors staying longer, as well as the number of jobs supported by the sector continuing to grow – which covers a wide range of employment options across accommodation, food and drink, recreation and retail.”

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