Liverpool visitor numbers up 40% to 71.7m

Visitor numbers to Liverpool city centre so far in 2022 are up 40% to 71.7m compared with 2021, new data shows. Tony McDonough reports

Church Street
Footfall is ‘stabilsiing’ across Liverpool city centre, says the BID. Picture by Tony McDonough


Footfall in Liverpool city centre has “stabilised” in 2022 following two years of COVID disruptions, new figures show.

Data published by Liverpool BID Company, which represents more than 1,000 city centre businesses, 71.7m people have visited the BID area so far in 2022. This is 40% up on 2021, a year which started with a pandemic lockdown.

Provided by retail analytics specialist Springboard, the figures show footfall returning consistently to pre-Covid levels. October 2022 saw a 2.8% increase compared with 2019. Highest day of footfall was Saturday, November 19, when 372,084 people were recorded.

The highest week of footfall was the week of October 24, coinciding with half term, when more than 2m people visited the city centre. This represents 2.92% of the yearly footfall. BID footfall figures exclude Liverpool ONE which records its own data.

Saturday is the busiest day of the week, representing 18.62% of footfall traffic for the week. The busiest time is 1pm.

This, says the BID, suggests a shift back towards the more regular rhythm of the city centre. This pivoted towards the night-time economy post-lockdowns. Weekends continue to be the busiest time of the week.

Liverpool BID company chief executive Bill Addy said: “Liverpool’s popularity with visitors and businesses goes hand in hand. There is a confidence that a business can open up in Liverpool city centre and will attract footfall

“Liverpool’s is a mixed-use economy so we know that people come for a variety of purposes – to work, to enjoy cultural attractions, to shop, to visit a leisure offer, for food and drink.

“Each of these strengthens the whole and makes the city more resilient and robust.”

Springboard’s figures also show the city centre’s retail and leisure vacancy rate remains below the UK and North West averages.

In the city centre, including Bold Street, Church Street and Lord Street, 9.9% of ground floor units are vacant, with the UK average at 10.9%. It is a slight rise from the Liverpool total of 9% in January 2020, but still far below the North West rate of 12.5%.


Bill Addy
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company


New businesses continue to open this winter including Albert Schloss in Bold Street, Popeyes on Lord Street and Hawksmoor restaurant on Brunswick Street.

In late November Hoteliers and accommodation providers in Liverpool voted 84% in favour of establishing the city’s third BID. This will release £4.3m to provide security both for the industry and for visitors, helping to continue to attract major events to the city.

In early December figures from Liverpool City Council revealed that from January to September 2022, hotel room sales increased from 852,599 to 1,389,685. The comparison is with the same period in 2021.

Mr Addy added: “While we know Liverpool has weathered much of the current storm, we know difficult times are coming.

“We will be lobbying on behalf of our levy payers on business rates, VAT and continued support to help each of our commercial businesses not just survive in the next five years but thrive.”

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