Liverpool is officially one of the top UK destinations for both leisure and business travellers. The city is now in the top five UK destinations for overseas tourists according to data from the 2011 International Passenger Survey, and the seventh most visited city in the UK for international business visitors. Liverpool is ranked third in the UK for attracting visitors for other reasons including sporting and event attendance. The survey highlighted that Ireland, France and Spain remain key markets for the region whilst Germany, Scandinavia and BRIC countries are emerging as new growth markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China). The 2011 Great Britain Tourism Survey also showed that Liverpool ranked eighth most visited city by domestic business visitors including those attending major conferences, an increase from tenth place in 2010. Another recent encouraging figure is that hotel room occupancy for May and June this year was the highest it’s been since 2008, and appears to have been driven by improved midweek occupancy levels, partly due to some important conferences that were held in the city – Association of Surgeons and then the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. There has also been a huge upsurge in interest in the destination following the recent successful television advertising campaign, with overall forward bookings for July and August also looking stronger than at this point in the last two years. The campaign was part of the wider VisitEngland’s GREAT 2012 national TV ad campaign, in which Liverpool was the only city region outside of London to be featured. Carol O’Reilly, Liverpool Convention Bureau Manager, said: “These results are very encouraging particularly in such a competitive market and in the current economic climate. They are reflection of the investment and development across the business and leisure product within the Liverpool City Region, which we are continually striving to improve upon.” The International Passenger Survey is conducted by ONS on behalf of VisitBritain and records passengers travelling through 16 airports, 13 seaports and the Channel Tunnel. The Great Britain Tourism Survey is sponsored by the three national tourist boards – VisitEngland, VisitScotland and VisitWales.