In this last week or so in which hospitality venues have been allowed to open their doors for some indoor service, it’s been announced that people from overseas will be coming back to Liverpool because the cruise ships will be sailing up the Mersey again this summer.
It could prove to be a huge shot in the arm for our visitor economy.
Liverpool normally attracts some 65 million visitors a year generating around £4.5m to the economy – hospitality and leisure are that important to our tourism appeal.
For us as a city to function optimally we need the tourists to come but that just isn’t going to happen this year like it has in the past.
Even if the big white ships are seen on the river there will be very few visitors from overseas across the whole year, so our hospitality and leisure sectors will have to rely on the UK domestic market, as well as people in our immediate geographical area.
Despite all the wonders we have to offer as a city and a wider city region, it’s going to be tough to attract people in their droves and for any length of time too.
Atracting visitors from the ‘traditional’ staycation venues
The ‘staycationers’ are firstly going to look at the corners of the UK: Kent’s garden of England; Cornwall and Devon in the south west; The Lake District; Welsh mountains and coastline; and the Highlands and islands of Scotland.
These are areas that remain permanently attractive to holidaymakers, even if it’s lashing down!
But I just can’t see people jumping in the car or on the train and staycationing for a week in any city, except perhaps London or Edinburgh – and that includes Liverpool.
There might be long weekenders and those that are combining a visit to Chester, Southport or North Wales, but staycationing in Liverpool for seven days? Unlikely.
Liverpool will always attract visitors because it’s edgy, interesting, fun and there’s lots to do and see, but at the moment not in the numbers we need; and we’ll struggle.
I also think those other UK cities and towns with less appeal might be much worse off than us.
That’s why I think, a recent initiative launched by Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle & Gateshead, Leeds and Hull to boost their visitor economies battered by the pandemic is an excellent idea.
Reviving tourism with North of England Experience
The cities have come together to create the North of England City Experience which highlights the rich variety of experiences in each location and offers a new £99 ‘rover’ rail ticket to make a multi-city break a very affordable option.
Travellers can begin their journey in any city, and travel to any of the others on four days within an eight-day period.
Hats off to those who came up with this!
This is adapting to the current situation and that’s what we all have to do in the absence of hordes of visitors.
We all have to do something different.
How we’ve adapted Signature Living
At Signature Living, our football customers are now watching at home, our business customers are on Zoom, our midweek customers are too frightened about their health to come out.
So, we have pivoted in the last few months, to attract people from in and around Liverpool and we are now less of a hotel business and more of an events business with a pillow.
Giving people an opportunity to come out and do something different.
So downstairs in The Shankly it’s now more of an events space with a daily DJ that complements our huge Eden rooftop garden events.
It’s an approach we will be rolling out across our hotels.
Our hotels are about experience rather than a bed for the night and increasing numbers of our guests are seeing it as a great and safe alternative to a nightclub and waiting for a taxi in the wind and rain at 3am.
It’s safer, just as much fun, surrounded by friends and in a totally secure hotel environment.
The game has changed now and we’re helping to change it, because we have hotels that are large enough to have large groups to enjoy our unique experiences.
We have been noticing that many of these club goers are coming back to their hotel rooms much earlier as the main part of their night out, because their room is big enough and exciting enough to offer a great time that they probably won’t get in a bar or a club anymore.
So the experience now and how people are reacting to that experience is changing the whole hotel approach, certainly in trend-setting Liverpool.
I believe what we are doing here will usher in change across the rest of the UK and Signature Living is at the forefront of that change.
Get the Northern City Experience with Signature Living
If you’re ready to start getting out again and are looking for an experience to remember. Check out our offers at Signature Living.
Just click here to see what’s available and book your next city experience now.