Liverpool lead drives to encourage northern ‘staycations’

A campaign launched by Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Gateshead, Leeds and Hull will look to reboot their visitor economies, battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tony McDonough reports

Pier Head, waterfront, Beatles statue
The North of England City Experience will look to reboot visitor economy. Picture by Tony McDonough


Liverpool is joining forces with four other northern cities to launch a ‘staycation’ campaign ahead of the eventual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions this summer.

In Late February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a four-stage roadmap that will “cautiously but irreversibly” see the final lifting of the UK’s third COVID-19 lockdown. It could lead to all restrictions being lifted by June 21.

For the moment, people are only allowed to travel for essential reasons but with cases continuing to fall and the vaccine roll-out happening quickly, there is a degree of cautious confidence that the country will begin to open up according to the timetable.

In readiness, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Gateshead, Leeds and Hull, have come together to create the North of England City Experience as they look to get their battered visitors economies back on track. Marketing Liverpool will take the lead in the campaign.

In Liverpool, alone, the visitor economy was worth £3.3bn pre-COVID and offered employment to tens of thousands of people. In February Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN), a collaboration between leading businesses and organisations around the city, published its blueprint for recovery.

The North of England City Experience highlights the rich variety of experiences on offer in these each location and launches a new rail ticket which makes exploring them easier than ever.

Delivered by TransPennine Express, the North of England City Experience rover ticket will appeal to those who want a multi-city break across these five distinctive places. Travellers can begin their journey in any city, and travel to any of the others on four days within an eight-day period.

Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead are included in the campaign


The cost of the ticket is just £99, offering much better value than buying individual tickets between different cities. Specific details on when people will be able to travel will depend on Government announcements.

The project is being managed by Marketing Liverpool, on behalf of the Destination Management Organisations for these five cities, and is funded by the Discover England Fund, managed and administered by VisitEngland.

Chris Brown, Director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “Those of us who live and work in the North know that it is simply an outstanding area to explore. Its cities are the backbone to this, each very distinctive but with a common focus on culture, events and exciting food and drink running through them.

“As we all look closer to home for holidays this year, this ticket offers the chance to easily, safely explore some fantastic destinations on our doorstep without the fuss or expense of booking individual tickets.”

To find out more about the vibrant cities of northern England and buy a North of England City Experience ticket, click here.

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