Eurovision helps Liverpool’s travel and tourism to post-Covid resurgence

Hundreds of thousands of fans came to Liverpool for Eurovision. Credit: PA

Eurovision and a number of other high profile events have helped Liverpools travel and tourism sector to a post-Covid resurgence, new figures show.

This years song contest, which was hosted on Merseyside on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine, has helped created the strongest sales of hotel rooms in the city in five years.

It comes after new figures showed last year’s economic boost of more than £3.5 billion has outstripped previous local records.

Janet Nuzum, Visitor Economy Sector Manager at the city regions growth company Growth Platform, said: "These figures can only go on an upward trajectory with the success of hosting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, The Open Championship, the Grand National Festival and other world-famous events."

Celebrations for British competitors at the Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool in 2022. Credit: PA

Reflecting on 2022, new statistics also highlight the number of visitors the city attracted, the accommodation usage and the number of local jobs supported.

Although not back to pre-pandemic levels, the city is seeing a significant recovery in the sector which is expected to continue in the wake of Eurovision.

In the first six months of 2023 alone, 934,000 hotel rooms were sold.

Liverpool’s figures for 2022 show:

  • The local economy received an impressive £3.58billion uplift, compared to £2.45billion in 2021 – up 46%.

  • The city welcomed 31.5million visitors compared to 23.9million in 2021 – a 32% increase.

  • In total, the number of visitor days spent in Liverpool were 37.1million, compared to 27.7million in 2021 – a 34% rise.

  • Hotel occupancy was up with 1.98million visitors compared to 1.24million in 2021. Non-serviced accommodation, such as Airbnb, also proved popular with more than 358,000 visitors using them compared to just over 228,000 in 2021.

  • The number of jobs in the sector rose by more than 37%, with 35,060 people employed in 2022 and 25,535 in 2021.

Data for Liverpool, collected since 2011, shows visitor figures peaked in 2018 with 38million recorded during the year-long celebration programme which marked a decade since the city’s European Capital of Culture title.

Liverpool City Council organised major events during 2022 including the World Gymnastics Championships, the Liverpool Football Club Victory Parade, River of Light and Chinese Lunar New Year.

Electric Dandelions part of the 2022 River of Light Festival in Liverpool. Credit: PA

Susan Finnegan, Acting Head of Visitor Economy, said: “Liverpool’s visitor economy is resoundingly on the rise once again - it’s a return to true form and a clear sign of even greater things to come.

"But it’s important to note our job is far from over and we never rest on our laurels."

Ms Nuzum added: "Eurovision alone is forecast to increase the number of visitors to the city region by around 5% for years to come - boosting the economy by £250m by 2026.

“There is of course still work to be done but the support and resilience of our local community, businesses, and tourism partners have not only been integral to this fantastic recovery but are key to the continued growth of our visitor economy.”