More than 100,000 visitors are expected to flock to Liverpool for the Eurovision celebrations and new data says it could be worth £40m to the city. Tony McDonough reports
A new economic forecast says visitors coming to Liverpool for the Eurovision celebrations could spend up to £40m in the city.
Taking place at the M&S Bank Arena on Saturday, May 13, Eurovision will be watched by an estimated £160m on TV around the world. It is also expected to bring in more than 100,000 visitors to Liverpool.
Although the contest itself takes place on one day, the city will be welcoming visitors from early May with a series of events. The city council is setting up a Eurovision Village at the Pier Head from Friday, May 5.
Now new research from NatWest says that, based on the 100,000 visitors number, the projected spend in bars, hotels, restaurants and shops could be as much as £40m. This is calculated using typical spending data from Visit Britain.
International visitors are predicted to make up 40% or the total number with domestic visitors accounting for the rest. This is based on the breakdown of audiences in Turin in Italy where the event was held in 2022.
Janice Mears, head of business growth at Growth Platform – Liverpool city region’s economic development agency, said: “The Eurovision Song Contest is such an exciting opportunity for the Liverpool city region.
“Not only will people across the globe be watching this iconic event, but we also expect 100,000 extra visitors staying and enjoying our fantastic region, which of course means a huge boost in visitor spending.”
Ukrainian entry Kalush Orchestra took first place at the 2022 competition and Ukraine was meant to host this year’s event. However, the Russian invasion made this impossible. Liverpool’s Eurovision celebration will have a strong Ukrainian influence.
Last Friday, LBN reported that business and cultural leaders in Liverpool are concerned about the impact two planned national rail strikes will have on visitor numbers. Members of the Aslef union will walk out on May 12 while RMT members will strike on May 13.
Malcolm Buchanan, chair of the North Regional Board at NatWest, added: “While the contest is coming to Liverpool because of awful global events, it is certain the city will put on a fantastic show that does the UK proud.
“We know that visitor economies across the north suffered greatly during the pandemic, so it is fantastic that the city will benefit from the increase in visitors and spending that an event like this brings.
“Hopefully as well as acting as a short-term boost for business, the song contest will also be a catalyst for further long-term growth in the city’s economy.”