Marketing Liverpool Annual Review 2019

Marketing Liverpool Annual Review 2019.

A downloadable version of the Annual Review 2019 is available to view here.

Directors Report

Looking ahead to a new decade is always a good time to reflect on our successes.

As Liverpool City Region’s destination marketing organisation (DMO), Marketing Liverpool’s success is most powerfully illustrated by the city region’s growing popularity as a global visitor destination.

Our visitor economy has never been stronger and Marketing Liverpool is at the heart of this economic success story. Our work matters.

In July we celebrated news of record visitor levels in 2018. 67 million people experienced our world-class offer (an increase of 5 million visitors year on year), sustaining 57,000 full-time jobs and generating £4.9 billion of economic value.

We can also look back positively on our work to attract new national and international conferences to the city region and to promote our economic strengths to global investors at major events across the world.

In challenging economic times, another positive year highlights the vibrancy of the sector and underlines why the city region received a number of prestigious travel awards in 2019.

This recognition not only confirms our reputation as a must-see cultural destination, it validates our collaborative approach.

This collaborative ethos is clearly evident in the development of a new brand narrative for Liverpool City Region. It’s an initiative pioneered by Marketing Liverpool and our partners, and launched by Peter Moore, Liverpool FC’s chief executive, in September.

None of these achievements would be possible without the support of Mayor Joe Anderson and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. In times of unprecedented public sector cuts, it is invaluable that Marketing Liverpool is supported to promote the Liverpool City Region brand consistently and imaginatively across the globe.

In this review, you’ll discover just some of the projects, campaigns and events Marketing Liverpool has delivered in the past year. And, as we turn the page on a decade of growth, we look ahead to another exciting year in 2020 for Liverpool City Region.

Let’s say hello to a new decade, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Chris Brown,
Director of Marketing Liverpool

Key Stats For 2019


If one sector symbolises the city region’s economic success in the last decade, look no further than the visitor economy. Marketing Liverpool leads the city region’s marketing to national and international audiences, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Travel Trade

Marketing Liverpool continues to attract international group and tour operators to the city region.  Our sales missions, with VisitBritain to Paris and New York attracted 30 major tour operators, plus Virgin Atlantic, New York Times and CNN. Our partners Liverpool FC, the Beatles Story, Strawberry Field, and Titanic Hotel highlight the importance of positive collaboration.

Welcoming global tour operators has been a feature of 2019. Familiarisation visits from Brazil, France, Canada, USA, India and China have already resulted in new travel trade business to the city region.

And Marketing Liverpool has been active in raising the region’s profile at global travel trade events and exhibitions. These include:

  • Vakantiebeurs, Utrecht
  • Marketing Liverpool sales mission, Paris
  • ITB, Berlin
  • British Tourism and Travel Show, Birmingham
  • China European Marketplace, Shanghai
  • Explore GB, Harrogate
  • Marketing Liverpool sales mission, New York
  • World Travel Market, London
  • Destination Britain China, Xi’an and Beijing
  • Northern Tourism Conference Beijing


Designing campaigns that create closer relationships with our customers is more important than ever. Our capabilities in brand building, campaign management, data analysis, content creation and media relations are vital in attracting consumer and trade visits to LCR.

Liverpool. Do it your way

Commissioned by Liverpool Visitor Economy Network, Marketing Liverpool created and launched a new visitor campaign in spring 2019. It puts real visitors at the heart of the campaign and has already been successfully activated in seven target cities with more to come in 2020.

Christmas in Liverpool

Targeting visitors within a 60-minute drive, our 2019 campaign was activated with a creative marketing mix – outdoor, press and social media. With a range of partners, the campaign positioned Liverpool City Region as the perfect setting to get into the festive spirit.

Discover England Fund

Marketing Liverpool was instrumental in delivering this VisitEngland initiative in the North of England.  Partnering with our northern neghbours, Marketing Liverpool led campaigns targeting Germany, Nordics, Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.

Liverpool Attractions Group

Working with local partners, Marketing Liverpool delivered a campaign targeting families within a 90-minute drive time using a mix of video and ads on Instagram and Facebook.


In 2019, Marketing Liverpool received awards for our work in promoting the city region to audiences of all ages and interests. Amongst the most prestigious were:

  • TripAdvisor’s Top 3 UK Destination
  • Best Youth Tourism Destination
  • Conde Nast Traveller Top 3 UK Destination
  • Travel Zoo UK’s Best Staycation

And we were shortlisted for Best UK Destination at World Travel Market and for Best UK Destination for Groups at the Group Leisure Awards.


As technology reshapes our industry, Marketing Liverpool is committed to modern, data-driven marketing.

visitliverpool.com is the city region’s official destination website and the essential platform for millions of visitors each year. The website has continued to perform impressively and attracted over 2.1 million users in 2019 – a 15% year on year increase.

visitliverpool.com also spearheaded the digital and social media campaign for River of Light, one of the biggest successes of the city region’s events programme in 2019. The event attracted 120,000 visitors, generated £3.9m economic impact, 4 million impressions on social media and 280,000 additional page views.

Liverpool Convention Bureau

2019 was a year of firsts. Events in New York, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Brussels, Houston, London and Aberdeen were an unrivalled opportunity to promote Liverpool City Region as the ideal destination for major conferences.

Our first ‘Destination Summer Showcase’ at the Royal College of Physicians London HQ, was a major success, showcasing the city region to international event and conference organisers.

In a year when LFC conquered the football world, we were delighted to be part of the club’s pre-season tour in the US; raising the city region’s profile and exploring new opportunities and new markets.

Another outstanding moment was the Vitality Netball World Cup. Being part of the Local Organising Committee was a great opportunity, providing marketing support and arranging accommodation for the teams. The TV coverage of the event and the city region was fantastic and the sport has seen a resurgence in the UK.

Club Liverpool’s remit to attract major international conferences is an essential part of the city region’s economy. We work with sector-leading academics and bring innovative, internationally recognised conferences to the city region, generating millions in economic impact.

Club Liverpool has seen ambassador numbers grow to 225 and attracted conferences including European Congress on Tropical Medicine International Health.

The Royal College of Nursing returned to ACC Liverpool welcoming 5,000 nurses to the city, and we’re delighted they will be returning again next year.

In October we hosted the international business tourism magazine Voyages et Strategie to experience the city region, impressing so much that Liverpool became their cover story.

Invest Liverpool

As the city region’s destination marketing organisation (DMO), our role is much more than tourism marketing. We play a central role in promoting the region to blue chips, SMEs, investors, and entrepreneurs.

Marketing Liverpool leads the Invest Liverpool brand and marketing activity and provides investors with all the inspiration and information to choose Liverpool City Region. Here’s some of the highlights of 2019.


MIPIM 2019 was another record year for Liverpool City Region. With 42 partners, 120 delegates (plus a waiting list) and 47 events, Marketing Liverpool co-ordinated the region’s participation at Europe’s biggest property and investment exhibition, attended by 27,000 global delegates.

MIPIM has become the largest international event in the city region’s investment activity and 2019 was a highly successful year in promoting investment opportunities to a global audience.

Our iconic waterfront image was even featured on the front cover of MIPIM’s daily news magazine!


And for the first time, Marketing Liverpool attended EXPO Real – Germany’s international trade, property and investment exhibition. Working with Liverpool City Region Growth Platform and Combined Authority, Marketing Liverpool arranged the city region’s participation in expert panels, roundtables and investment seminars.

Digital Manufacturing Week

Creating a bespoke, eye-catching exhibition space for Europe’s largest digital manufacturing event was all in a day’s work for Marketing Liverpool’s creative team. Designed to attract delegates to find out more about the city region’s exciting investment opportunities, the space wowed visitors and created an intimate setting with a fully operational AV system with branding opportunities for partners. The event attracted 6,000 delegates, a 9% growth, year-on-year.

ERDF Place Marketing for Investment

Marketing Liverpool played a leading role in the successful first phase of this European-funded programme to attract international investment to Liverpool City Region. The project was delivered by a partnership representing Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, Liverpool, St Helens and Wirral, Liverpool Growth Platform and Sci-Tech Daresbury, as well as DIT, the UK’s national investment  department. The successful marketing programme has resulted in a subsequent phase of activity from 2020-2022.

Media Coverage

Attracting national and international media coverage is year-round priority for Marketing Liverpool. We showcase the city region to journalists, broadcasters, influencers with a consistent and coherent media campaign that’s always on.

This year, Marketing Liverpool has delivered 192 pieces of coverage, from 27 different countries. As ever it’s been a varied mix. We’ve braved a sandstorm on Crosby beach with Men in Blazers, an influential US TV show and podcast all about football culture.

When the Telegraph, Guardian and Independent all visited for the Music Tourism Conference, they let us take them down to Strawberry Field. We acted natural when being filmed walking down Bold Street by French YouTuber Alex Vizeo and set the stage at The Cavern Club for Australia’s Today Show to broadcast the weather.

When Yesterday was released in cinemas, we hosted a group of 14 major press from the US, Brazil and Canada – which gave us several sleepless nights but delivered some magnificent coverage. And this is not to mention the Christmas bloggers, the Dutch trainhoppers or the non-football fans whose visit coincided with Liverpool’s Champions League win and the city’s biggest party.


2019 was Marketing Liverpool’s best commercial performance to date with an increase in membership, project activity and commercial packages all contributing to the success. The returns from which we are investing back into our campaign activity.

Our portfolio of brand and marketing opportunities has seen considerable private sector support, especially for major investment events (MIPIM), visitor campaigns (Liverpool. Do It Your Way), and our delivery of LCR’s presence at national and international exhibitions (Meeting Show UK, British Tourism and Travel Show).

Over the past year, Marketing Liverpool has worked with 200 local, national and international companies – all benefitting from our brand assets and platforms. 2019 was a very positive year, with an increase in partner numbers, project activity and commercial packages.

2020 looking ahead

As ever, Marketing Liverpool’s focus is on maintaining unprecedented levels of visitor numbers, attracting internationally significant conferences and conventions and working with partners to position Liverpool as a compelling destination for new investors and entrepreneurs.

2020 will be a year when the city region is again in the global spotlight. Here’s some of the milestones we’re looking forward to in 2020:

  • Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s biggest contemporary art festival, returns with an impressive line-up of international artists and commissions.
  • Liverpool FC all-conquering team look set for a year to remember with big hopes of landing both Premier League and Champions League silverware.
  • The Randox Health Grand National is back in the first weekend in April and will be watched by 600 million viewers worldwide.
  • John Lennon’s 80th birthday will be celebrated in October and there are sure to be poignant celebrations around the city.
  • Labour Party Conference returns for a third time in 5 years, welcoming 12,000 delegates.
  • The next phase of the Brand Narrative project will be activated, developing partner roll out and usage across visitor, conference and
    investment marketing.
  • Marketing Liverpool is planning the city region’s presence at major investment conferences – MIPIM, Expo Real, Digital Manufacturing Week.
  • Club Liverpool, Marketing Liverpool and ACC Liverpool’s partnership to attract international academic, professional conferences, celebrates
    its 5th anniversary.
  • One of the city’s biggest new hotel entrants opens its doors later this year. Innside by Melia, has transformed the former Echo building on Old Hall Street with 200 bedrooms and event spaces.
  • The Spine, the impressive 14 storey Northern HQ of the Royal College of Physicians will open in Summer at Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.