It was the earliest ever point the sector had reached the million rooms sold landmark in a single year and the sector is now on course to sell more than 2m rooms for the second year in a row. Tony McDonough reports
A record 189,252 hotel rooms were sold in Liverpool city centre in July – smashing the one million barrier for the year so far.
It was the earliest ever point the sector had reached the million rooms sold landmark in a single year and the city’s hotels are now well on course to break through the 2m barrier for the second year in a row.
By the end of July almost 1.19m rooms had been sold since January 1 – more than were sold in the whole of 2012 (1.12m), according to the data released by Liverpool City Council.
And occupancy rates across the 66 city centre hotels/apart hotels and guest houses is at an all-time weekly high of 80.2%, with weekend occupancy at an average of 88.8% across 6,592 rooms.
The April-June portion of the year was another record breaker with 539,000 beds sold – a 5% rise on the second quarter in 2017 – and just 2,000 rooms of the most successful reported quarter in July-Sep 2017.
In August it was revealed that Liverpool city region’s visitor economy broke more barriers in 2017 with more than 64m people coming to the region during the year, generating more than £4.5bn.
Liverpool’s tourism boom has received a considerable boost in 2018 with a series of high-profile events to celebrate the 10th anniversary as European Capital of Culture, such as the Terracotta Warriors at World Museum Liverpool.
And what will arguably be the most popular event is still to come at the start of October with the return of The Giants – a three-day extravaganza of street theatre.
The city’s attractiveness to the conference and business sector has also grown massively since the creation of ACC Liverpool in 2008, with the waterfront complex set to host the Labour Party annual conference at the end of the month.
In 2008 Liverpool city centre had just 37 hotels (providing 3,726 rooms) but has seen more than £340m invested in the sector in the past decade with a further two new hotels (Premier Inn at Lime Street and Epic on Seel Street) set to complete before the of this year.
The city council continues to invest in tourism and is currently planning for a new cruise terminal so it can welcome the world’s biggest passenger vessels and further develop a regional visitor economy worth over £4.5bn, supporting over 53,500 jobs.
The boom has also been noted at John Lennon Airport which has recorded its busiest first six months to a year since 2011 with Liverpool now the fifth most visited destination in the UK for overseas visitors.
Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Wendy Simon, Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, said: “2018 has been an exceptionally strong year with a great mix of massive family friendly events be it The Tall Ships, Liverpool Biennial and The Giants still to come.
“And when you weave in our regular diet of Premier League football, world-class shopping and major concerts and conferences you can see why the city is so popular across a huge demographic.
“Our hotel sector does a sterling job to cater for this demand and the quality and standard of service not only underlines the fact the city is one of the friendliest and most welcoming.”