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23/02/2022- Support programme unveiled to help LCR tourism industry recover from pandemic

A support plan has been unveiled to help Liverpool City Region’s tourism industry recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, announced the two-year scheme for the industry, worth £5bn a year to the region, which will be overseen by Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company.

Tourism supports more than 55,000 jobs throughout the region which had been the fifth most visited in the UK by international visitors before the pandemic led to lockdowns and massive disruption.

Steve Rotheram said: “Our city region is a national and international destination of choice, renowned for culture, music, sport, hospitality and much, much more.

“The visitors who come to soak up our unique offer are starting to return and breathe fresh life into our economy and the short-term predictions are encouraging.

“We’ve helped more than 4,500 local businesses with over £45m worth of funding to keep them afloat during the pandemic, but the effect on the visitor economy has been seismic and the shock waves may last for some time.”

He added: “I want us to economically recover from COVID quickly so we can get back to where we were pre-pandemic as the fastest growing city region in the country.”

In 2019 the Liverpool City Region attracted 5.4m leisure and business staying visitors as well as 61m day visitors.

In 2020, the visitor economy’s 7,840 businesses took a 58% hit to income and the conference and events sector was left “decimated”.

Office of National Statistics figures show that sectors of the visitor economy lost between 39% and 89% of their output during the year.

International tourists are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2025 and the business events sector may not fully recover before 2028.

The new strategy proposes a range of interventions, including for the important events and conference sector, which would bring much needed income via a steady stream of delegates, often in winter and during the week.

The City Region strategy looks to capitalise on pent-up demand, restore confidence and develop new markets.

Source: The Business Desk

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