Hotels in Liverpool enjoyed a record month in July with 95,000 rooms sold, a rise of 22% on 2009 and 11% on 2008 when the city was European Capital of Culture.
The figures were released by tourism board The Mersey Partnership and show demand was strong throughout the first six months of 2010. A total of 486,401 rooms were sold across the destination between January and June 2010. This represents a 17% increase on the same period during 2009 and is 13% higher than during the first six months of 2008.
Average overall occupancy levels for July 2010 ran at 75%, which was 2% higher than during the same month in 2009 with weekend occupancy levels averaging 86%. This is particularly impressive given that capacity has increased dramatically in recent years: the number of rooms rose from 2,650 to 4,095 in four years.
The increased demand was fuelled, TMP said, by a number of events in July including university graduation ceremonies; the Ricoh Women's Open Golf at Royal Birkdale andlarge conferences attracting hundreds of delegates.
Lorraine Rogers, chief executive of TMP, said: "The visitor economy is vitally important to the local economy and, although there are pressures on budgets – including ours as the region's tourist board – we must do everything we can to keep promoting LCR to potential visitors."
David Andrews, director of visitor economy at TMP, said: "Strong demand in July has also given us a great springboard into the start of the new Premier League football season. Fixtures drive demand for hotel rooms. Business tourism is also driving demand and the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in September will generate significant business for hotels across the region. Longer term, advance bookings are starting to look the strongest they have since Capital of Culture year."
The TMP findings were compiled by LJ Research.