Marketing Liverpool this week held our first virtual visitor economy webinar in place of our usual partner meetings.
Normally a chance for our partners to get together, network and receive updates on the Liverpool Visitor Economy, this time we went virtual. The event was open to partners and non-partners and broadcast live from MSG’s virtual studio in Bootle.
Hosted by Director of Marketing Liverpool, Chris Brown, the webinar featured insights from an expert panel made up of:
● Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region
● Bill Addy, Chair of Liverpool Visitor Economy Network
● Paul Askew, Chair of Wirral Visitor Economy Board
● Peter Hampson, Sefton and Marketing Southport
● Edward Perry, Chair of Knowsley Place Board and MD of Knowsley Hall and Safari Park
● Laura Pye, Chair of LCR Visitor Economy Board and National Museums Liverpool
● Peter Sandman, Growth Platform
● Janet Uttley, VisitBritain
“We are all working together closer than we ever have before”
As Liverpool City Region begins to make tentative steps towards re-opening on 15th June, the panel discussed how the messaging surrounding public health and safety precautions will be crucial. The next few weeks will be about increasing confidence in our local people first, whilst ensuring that health and safety remains as the most important factor in people’s minds. A second spike for the area would be devastating.
Janet Uttley from VisitBritain joined the panel to explain some of the crucial work that they are doing on creating an industry standard health and safety accreditation. Janet explained how it’s paramount that venues across the region and across the country are all held to the same standard in order to boost consumer confidence in returning to restaurants, bars and attractions.
As the UK’s international reputation starts to struggle and with it looking increasingly unlikely that destinations will welcome international visitors for many months, VisitBritain are re-aligning their work to focus on the domestic audience. Over the next few, crucial weeks, the team will be re-igniting consumer desire to visit new places and think about the things they have missed most.
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram also joined the panel to give some insights into the kind of conversations that he is having directly with central government. Explaining that he’s keen to ensure no one is forgotten about as we continue the survival phase and begin to move towards recovery, Steve threw his support behind local initiatives such as Raise the Roof and Forgotten LTD. The Combined Authority’s new Build Back Better campaign will focus on how we can’t return to old ways and a future post-Covid-19 will also mean a greater value on our key workers, a greater value on community and embracing new ways of working.
The panel agreed that in order to be ready to re-open successfully we must understand exactly what the demand looks like. Pete Sandman from the Growth Platform revealed that there will be two areas to focus on, demand and how we increase it and supply and the business support we will need to offer.
Marketing Liverpool recently undertook audience research on behalf of Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN) to understand exactly how local people feel about the city reopening. Whilst 80% said they are raring to get out and about, many admitted that there was still a concern about safety.
It’s easing these concerns surrounding safety that will be crucial to slowly increasing demand. Janet advised local businesses to begin sharing videos and posts on social media of the safety steps they are taking, allowing visitors to make informed decisions.
Bill Addy who is also the Chief Executive of Liverpool Bid Company took the time to update on the recently announced ‘Liverpool Without Walls’ scheme. The £450,000 project announced by Liverpool City Council will allow Liverpool bars and restaurants to open out onto public pavements and roads, offering them much needed breathing space as they implement social distancing measures. Bill reassured venues that space will be found as quickly and safely as possible.
Marketing Liverpool continues to work with our partners across the city region to help move Liverpool’s visitor economy towards recovery. If you’re interested in working with us then please get in touch.
You can catch up on the webinar below