Liverpool's Cruise Liner Facility and waterfront

Liverpool tourism market ‘can hit £2bn in next decade’

A business plan produced by official tourist board The Mersey Partnership aims to establish Liverpool in the top 20 of Europe's most visited short-break locations and in the top five UK conference destinations.

If successful, the strategy will add 14,000 jobs to the current 23,000 employed in the visitor economy. TMP forecasts 60% growth in visitor spend to £2bn a year by 2020, from today's base level £1.3bn.

The hotel market alone has seen clear growth in recent years, with 11 new hotels opening in 2008 and 2009 combined.

Lorraine Rogers, TMP chief executive, said the visitor economy had the most potential for accelerated growth of all business areas in the Liverpool city region.

Rogers added: "No other destination in the world has assets, attractions and infrastructure quite like ours. This strategy has been produced with our public and private sector partners. Together we have identified how it can grow, generating further wealth and prosperity for our region."

The reports states that Liverpool city region, recently formalised under one of the Government's multi-area agreements, has the potential to generate 16m staying visitor nights by 2020 (compared to 11m in 2007) and to generate annual day visitor spend of £1,236m by the same date. Day visitors currently contribute £838m to the region's Visitor Economy.

The report states: "By using the Visitor Economy as a vehicle to address wider economic and social issues, Liverpool and the City Region can reap further rewards."

By 2020, the report says, Liverpool will be renowned for its diverse and distinctive culture, for its iconic waterfront and World Heritage Site and for its festival spirit.

Liverpool will remain the leading attack brand with Southport and England's Golf Coast as subsidiary brands, TMP said. Culture and heritage will be at the heart of destination marketing activity.

As part of its own restructuring announced in July, TMP is creating a new tourist board led by chairman Ian Ayre, Liverpool FC's commercial director and deputy chairman Michael Eakin, chief executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

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