Chris Melia, partner director, Amion Consulting used Liverpool as a case study for how to write a destination marketing strategy

Travel, Leisure + Tourism: Summary, slides and pictures

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Kier Group

More than 100 people joined Place North West and Kier Group to hear from a diverse cross-section of travel, leisure and tourism operators offering their views on the state of the market in summer 2016.

See slide presentations from each of the speakers at the links below:

Speaker highlights at a glance – scroll down for photo gallery and video clips

Collette Roche, Manchester Airport

  • More than 24 million passengers choose Manchester Airport every year, with capacity to grow to 55m
  • One third of UK population lives within a two-hour drive of the airport
  • 2m inbound leisure passengers arrived in the North in 2014, of these 2.2m arrived via Manchester Airport
  • Increasingly seen as airport of the North, and working with partners in Yorkshire and elsewhere to market North of England overseas
  • Transformation programme will drive capacity from 6,800 to 8,400 an hour at Terminal 2. Parking spaces will increase from 42,000 to 56,000

Chris Barnes, Transport for Greater Manchester

  • Reforming the bus network and infrastructure is key to enhancing the connectivity of region
  • Devolution agenda means a more central, connected, cohesive role for Greater Manchester
  • Smart ticketing is high on agenda for transport network. Aligning technology with transport is crucial for TfGM’s 2040 vision, currently out for consultation
  • More spatially aware transport planning nowadays means focus on connecting neighbourhoods not just delivering separate modes: bus, rail, road, etc

Chris Melia, Amion Consulting

  • Strong leadership vital to take a place’s tourism strategy from pretty words on paper to tangible results in action
TLT Chris Melia slide Liverpool tourist growth

Liverpool’s tourism growth in past decade

  • Liverpool is exemplar of this approach and has seen phenomenal growth in past decade from 1.4m to 2.2m tourist visits a year, aims to attract a further 300,000 tourists by 2020, to take visitors numbers to 2.5m
  • In 2004, Liverpool was the 10th most visited destination in England, 10 years on it is 4th
  • In a city or town everyone is a tourist information officer, the taxi driver, the station team, the barista all become city hosts
  • Social media can affect place marketing, understanding the audience by monitoring the sentiment on social channels can help drive a strategy
  • Tourist information centres are changing – now the information needs to go to the tourist; not the tourist to the information centres
  • Private sector working well with public can build powerful long-term vision
  • Manchester and Liverpool compete for tourists. Internationally the cities combine to create a powerful package to attract visitors. More needs to be done locally to join forces

Anna Doran, Virgin Trains

  • 36 million journeys a year are made by Virgin Trains; 18 million are made to and from the North West
  • Over two-thirds of those journeys are made for leisure
  • Changes in technology have impacted travel, consumers want real-time information
  • Innovation is driven by partnerships working together; for smart ticketing to work it has to include negotiations from the Department for Transport and Association of Train Operating Companies
  • Passengers complain about lost mobile and Wi-Fi signal but Virgin Trains has done all it can and relies on available telecom masts along routes which pass through countryside poorly served by telecoms providers

Dan Davies, Metis Real Estate Advisors

  • ‘Stay longer, spend longer’ trend is the new call to action of many high streets looking at how catering spend can increase time on a shopping trip
  • 30% of shopping centre floorspace now typically given over to food and beverage
  • Liverpool One, Manchester Arndale and newly revamped Corn Exchange in Manchester all examples of rise of F&B
  • If got attractions nearby, can become food court for those – cinema, mall, football
  • Leisure demand now more sophisticated; interesting cinemas are back on high street, film and environment drawing consumer in
  • Consumers who use catering within the retail environment, spend approximately 48% more on retail goods than those who don’t
  • Growth of private equity and venture capital money in leisure sector is driving growth; Chinese investor Hony Capital bought Pizza Express for £900m, Mayfair Equity Partners bought Yo Sushi for £81m
  • Manchester has one restaurant per 1,576 residents
  • 60 restaurants opened in Manchester in 2015
  • Single item menus are on trend ‘Burger & Lobster”; Chicken Shop; Almost Famous
  • Markets and food halls are good for a town or city; Altrincham Market Hall has regenerated a struggling location

Tomas Maunier, Fazenda Group

  • Restaurant trade seeing a bubble that could burst
  • Landlords hiking rents to capitalise on private equity-fuelled expansion, could lead to unrealistic rents in poor locations and underperformance of restaurants
  • Manchester’s Spinningfields is a perfect example of turning round a sparse office development into a vibrant evening circuit with different offerings from bars to casual to high end dining attracting people after 5pm

Tim Woodhead, Industry Wake Parks and Jonathan Vose, Walsingham Planning

  • Cheshire Lakes is a proposed watersports and outdoor adventure facility based in a former quarry in Chelford, currently awaiting planning approval
  • 13 million people in UK participating in watersports and seven million people living within two hours of the proposed development
  • Proposed impact on area for tourism, jobs and positive place marketing could be huge
  • Woodhead operates a wake park in Albert Dock, Liverpool, bringing life to under-used water space. Partnership with Red Bull, hosting the Red Bull Harbour Reach brought an estimated £1m economic value to the city with the open top bus tours in the city now detouring past the wakeboarding site
  • Community reaction to Cheshire Lakes proposal has been positive, attraction will fill a gap in outdoor sports provision in the county

Graham Lister, Storyhouse

  • Transformation of a 1930s art deco cinema into a cultural centre for Chester will blend library theatre and cinema
  • Estimated positive impact on city of £16.9m a year bringing in 625,000 visitors
  • New venture will stimulate employment, cultural tourism and crucially raise Chester’s profile regional and nationally
  • Lister hopes Storyhouse will become the focus for the place marketing strategy in Chester – and provide health and wellbeing benefits as well as allowing Chester to invest in the culture industry
  • Storyhouse will shift Chester’s position and enable city to start talking with Manchester and Liverpool on a more level footing

Jeremy Butler, Sale Sharks Rugby Club

  • Poor transport to stadium in Salford off the M60 was a challenge since moving from Stockport in 2012
  • The area is crying out for Metrolink tram links
  • A road relief plan has been hampered by the bridge collapse next to the Barton Bridge during construction
  • The importance of sport in a local tourism strategy cannot be overestimated. Rugby not high up on list of tourist menu, swamped by football in Manchester and more needs to be done to raise profile to tourists
  • Demographic is shifting, with mums buying more tickets, earlier and for family trips. Rugby seen as great moral code reliant on good discipline and respect for authority, the referee and rules of the game

Click image to launch gallery

Video clips

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