Visitor economy body Marketing Liverpool has launched the Love Your Liverpool campaign to help the city’s battered visitor economy recover from the coronavirus crisis. Tony McDonough reports
Marketing Liverpool has launched a new Love Your Liverpool campaign to encourage Merseysiders to boost the city’s battered visitor economy.
Over the past couple of weeks the city’s culture, hospitality, retail and visitor venues have started to reopen again due to the coronavirus lockdown. And while people have started to return, footfall remains well below the usual levels for the time of year.
Prior to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown Liverpool city region’s visitors economy was worth around £5bn and supported more than 50,000 jobs, In Liverpool alone the sector is worth £3.3bn and supports 38,000 jobs.
Analysis from Liverpool City Council showed leisure, creative and cultural businesses constitute 38% of the city’s economy, and 49.8% of business rates. But tourism has been especially badly hit by the coronavirus crisis, and now faces a summer without the many international visitors the city can usually expect to welcome.
As more people are choosing not to travel this year, it’s hoped that locals will make the most of ‘holidaying at home’ instead. The Love Your Liverpool campaign will be the starting point of the sector’s recovery in the city.
It brings together small independent cafes, famous institutions, solo operators and multinational brands, all of whom need local support more than ever.
The city already looks quite different to before coronavirus. The Liverpool Without Walls project has seen parklets built on Bold Street and increased outdoor seating across the city, museums and attractions have new measures to stay socially distanced and there are rules in shops to ensure everyone’s safety.
Businesses are also being encouraged to apply for We’re Good to Go, a free industry standard and kitemark scheme operated by VisitEngland. Designed as a way to ensure businesses follow public health guidance and give customers confidence, several Liverpool businesses have signed up and received their accreditation already.
The new campaign is being delivered by Marketing Liverpool on behalf of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN) and Liverpool City Council, and with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund.
Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “We’re used to running campaigns promoting Liverpool around the world, but now the priority is absolutely on our local audience.
“The visitor economy employs a huge number of people in this city, and many of the biggest success stories are local entrepreneurs. However, Coronavirus has dealt a severe blow to businesses across the sector.
“With greatly reduced visitors in the next few months, it’s simply crucial that we stick together and support the businesses in the city when they need it most.”