Tourism body Marketing Liverpool is looking to attract stay-in-the-UK holidaymakers this summer and reinvigorate the city region’s visitor economy, worth £5bn pre-pandemic. Tony McDonough reports
A new campaign to persuade people to visit Liverpool city region this summer is launched on Friday.
With ongoing uncertainty over foreign travel, and the cost of extra tests, a significant number of people in the UK are expected to shun foreign trips and book domestic getaways this summer.
In the decade leading up to the pandemic Liverpool city region’s visitor economy had broken through the £5bn a year barrier. More than 60m people a year were coming to Merseyside and the sector provided employment for more than 50,000 people.
COVID-19 has knocked the stuffing out of hospitality businesses and tourist attractions but now Marketing Liverpool, the city region’s main tourism body, is hoping to see the crowds return this summer.
Using the tagline ‘Get away to it all’, the marketing campaign highlights the mix of indoor and outdoor which sets Liverpool apart from other destinations. Alongside the culture, attractions and food and drink people expect of a break in the city, it gives ideas for beach days, cycling adventures and walks, as well as exploring lesser-known gems.
Short films and photography showing the best of the city region have been produced which will be used as adverts on video-on-demand services and digital advertising targeted at potential visitors in areas such as Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, North Wales and the Midlands.
The campaign comes at a time of rocketing demand for domestic holidays, with recent research by VisitEngland showing 34% of correspondents intend to take a UK trip between July and September, and 35% from October onwards.
Chris Brown, Director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “I think we all know how much pent-up demand there is to take holidays again, and a higher proportion of people will be choosing to do that without leaving the UK.
“We are very fortunate to be able to offer the best of city, coast and countryside within one city region, so we wanted to make that range of choice front and centre of the creative.
“We had a lot of first-time visitors last year following our Love Your Liverpool campaign, so we’re hoping for more new faces to come and see it for themselves.”
The campaign is being delivered by Marketing Liverpool, and financed by VisitEngland’s ‘Escape the Everyday’ fund, which backs tourism recovery marketing. Liverpool has already been prominently featured in the national marketing campaign for Escape the Everyday.
Donna Howitt, place strategy director at Liverpool ONE and chair of the LVEN Marketing Group, added: “The last year has devastated the visitor economy, and this campaign will be a key step in helping the sector to recover.
“It’s encouraging that we are already seeing greatly increased footfall in the city centre, and many hotels are reporting high occupancy levels for weekends over the coming weeks.
“We now need to push on and attract more visitors, and this campaign has been designed to appeal to those who don’t live too far away but may not know the wide range of what’s on offer in the city region.”