Mersey’s booming visitor economy now worth £4.3bn with a million extra visitors coming in 2016

Latest figures from VisitLiverpool show 62m people visited the Liverpool city region last year supporting more than 51,500 jobs with the economic value to the city alone rising to £2.9bn. Tony McDonough reports

Steam on the Dock at the Albert Dock in Liverpool in 2016 – the dock alone attracted 6.3m visits last year

Liverpool city region’s visitor economy was worth £4.3bn in 2016 – up 4% on 2015 – with visitor numbers soaring by almost one million.

In 2015 the tourism economy was worth just over £4bn, rising from £3.8bn in 2014, and the first time it had broken through the £4bn barrier.

In total, 62m people visited the city region last year supporting more than 51,500 jobs.

The latest figures are published in independent research for 2016 commissioned by VisitLiverpool, the city region’s tourist board.

The data also reveals a 3.9% increased in staying visitors in 2016 with an increase of 6.4% of those staying in serviced accommodation.

For Liverpool alone the the value of tourism has increased by 5% to £2.9bn with visitor numbers up by 2% to 34.8m.

Up the rankings

Liverpool also moved up the rankings to become the 5th most visited destination for overseas visitors.

This is supported by hotel occupancy data which shows that last year there was a near 2% growth. 

Long term trends show that from 2009 to 2016, there has been a 55.9% growth in the economic value of the visitor economy – this is equivalent to an average growth of 8% per year.

Over the same period there has been a 47% increase in the number of day visitors, rising annually from 1.9m in 2009 to 2.9m in 2016.

Earlier this year Liverpool’s Albert Dock complex – a huge driver of the city centre visitor economy – said it had seen a record 6.3m visit the attraction in 2016, boosting the city centre by an estimated £13m.

Healthy growth

Peter Sandman, head of visitor economy for the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is clear that the visitor economy is continuing to experience a healthy growth and continues to be of significant importance to the region’s economic base.

“The encouraging news of Liverpool moving up the rankings on the International Passenger Survey to become 5th most visited destination for overseas visitors also shows the continued appeal of the city as a global destination.”

The figures are published by the STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) model which is used throughout the UK tourism industry to measure economic impact of the Visitor Economy, and International Passenger Survey 2016.

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