Pioneering partnership for Liverpool City Region’s tourism sector

The eyes of the world on Liverpool during Eurovision underlined the importance of the visitor economy to the city and the wider region.

Now, 12 months on, in a bid to capitalise on the success of the continental song contest, the six local authority areas in the Liverpool City Region are coming together to create a unique cultural offer.

A 15-strong team of industry experts from the world of sport, film, music, hospitality, and leisure are to form a new board to shape a five-year plan to boost the region’s credentials as one of Europe’s major event capitals.

The new body is to be chaired by Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead, former director general of the BBC, and the former Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House.

Around 60 million people flock to the area every year to enjoy its cultural, musical, and sporting attractions. Earlier this year, Time Out magazine recognised the area’s strengths, naming Liverpool as the seventh best city in the world, ranking above Tokyo, Rome, and Paris.

As a nationally recognised official body, the partnership will provide strong leadership and management of the region’s visitor economy and will work collaboratively with the public and private sectors.

Due to the importance of the visitor economy and its influence on the Liverpool City Region’s overall economic success, board members will support the visitor economy sector’s growth; influence policy; work to stimulate overall economic growth, productivity, and competitiveness; and support the Liverpool City Region in its overarching aim for inclusive growth and sustainability.

Although yet to be officially named, the new body will be known initially as the Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) and will work to boost the city region’s £5bn-a-year visitor economy, which employs around 51,000 people.

Lord Hall, chair of the board, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to come back to my roots and play a role in promoting this incredible region, which has so much to offer to visitors. I’m proud and honoured to be leading a very high-calibre board that represents the diversity of the sector and the city region.

“I can’t wait to get to know them and to work together to bring even more people to this wonderful city and region.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, “The Liverpool City Region is a national and international destination of choice, renowned for its unbeatable culture, music, sport, hospitality and much, much more. In the last year alone, we’ve completely transformed an event as iconic as Eurovision – and welcomed golf’s global superstars for the 151st edition of The Open in Hoylake.

“That’s in addition to the Grand National, two Premier League football teams, and the most successful Super League team in the country calling our area home. We’re not here to rest on our laurels and this is all about ambition; we want to go from strength to strength and partnership is the key to that.

“That’s why I’ve pledged to double support for culture to 2% of our budget to build on our achievements. It’s because of our recent success that we’ve been able to attract someone of Tony’s calibre to help turbocharge this work over the next few years.

“We are already the UK’s cultural capital but watch out because we’re only just getting started.”

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