International tourists hail 'beautiful' Liverpool
Monday 7, October 2013
Liverpool is continuing to cement itself as a visitor destination with 98 per cent of the city’s cruise visitors saying they would recommend the city to their friends.
The survey was commissioned by Peel Group – which owns the land where the cruise terminal is situated – in order to better understand visitors’ impressions of the city.
Some 97 percent of international tourists surveyed said they would make a return trip to Liverpool should they visit the UK again.
A third of those said they expected the city to resemble a post-industrial port and were surprised by how modern, dynamic and attractive the city actually was.
Many tourists described the city as ‘beautiful’ and ‘stunning’ and ‘attractive’. The mixture of older historic buildings, such as the Three Graces and the Town Hall, and newer contemporary structures such as Mann Island and the Liverpool Museum, left a positive impression on those visiting the city.
The most visited attractions by those surveyed were the Anglican and Metropolitan Cathedrals, Cavern Club, Beatles Museum and Maritime Museum, which is currently running an exhibition to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic.
The city’s retail district, especially shopping destination Liverpool One, also proved popular.
The people of Liverpool were described as ‘friendly’, ‘gracious’ and ‘hospitable’ with many tourists having received assistance from members of the public with finding places in the city – although the Scouse accent was described as difficult to understand at times.
Sara Wilde-McKeown, chairman of Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy Board, said: “As a snapshot of visitor perceptions, this is hugely encouraging for the city. It confirms that our most valuable assets are not just our amazing heritage and our cultural offer but also the warmth and openness of ordinary people living and working here.”
The survey – conducted amongst passengers returning to the Celebrity Infinity and Crystal Serenity cruise ships this year – comes ahead of a critical year for the city’s tourism business visitor ambitions.
Next year, Liverpool plays host to the International Festival for Business 2014, when some 250,000 delegates are expected to attend more than 100 events in the city region during June and July.
Ms Wilde-McKeown said: “Our reputation is one which we must build upon and cement over the next few years and the findings of surveys like this stand us in good stead as we seek to attract hundreds of thousands of extra visitors next year during the International Festival for Business.”
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We’re delighted with the results of this survey and it goes to show that tourists receive an outstanding level if hospitality that they don’t find in other UK cities.
“We know that Liverpool is a key destination for international tourists and have seen the number of cruise ships visiting Liverpool rise ten-fold since the terminal opened in 2007 and the numbers are projected to grow.
“This has wider benefits for Liverpool as the growing numbers of tourists boosts the local economy, with each visitor currently spending an average of £70 in the city during their day trips.
“We already have a record number of cruise liners visiting Liverpool in 2014 for both transit and turnaround vessels and the quality of the visitor experience helps drive our status as a world class destination.”
Ian Pollitt, development investment surveyor at Peel Group, said: “The cruise business will be important to Peel’s and Liverpool’s ambitions over the coming years and we wanted to sample visitors’ impressions to get a feel for how perceptions of Liverpool are changing.
“It’s hugely encouraging to see that so many visitors would visit again and would recommend Liverpool to a friend. It confirms that the city is making huge progress in its tourism offer.”
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