One of Marketing Liverpool’s most eagerly awaited publications is our seasonal ‘Visitor Guide’ – Bright, beautifully designed and full to the brim of fantastic new things to do in Liverpool.
The intended audience is national and international travellers looking for a fantastic UK city break but this colourful page-turner works just as well as a stay-cation checklist for fun-seeking residents.
Editor-in-chief is Marketing Liverpool’s Campaign Manager, James Wood. Here he tells us more about the latest edition, why print in the world of destination marketing still matters and his top recommendations that make up his ‘must-do’ Liverpool itinerary this season.
James, the Liverpool Visitor guide is hot-off-the-press and looks great. Tell me about this edition.
It’s probably our best summer ever. There’s so much happening right now, so much so, it was a challenge to communicate at first, but we broke it down into a number of themes.
We take a closer look at Liverpool’s unique cultural offer, with the return of the Turner Prize and Walker Art Gallery’s amazing Pre-Raphaelite paintings and a major special exhibitions programme.
We highlight major events including Liverpool Sound City, Africa Oyé, Brazilica, Creamfields and ‘Pride in Liverpool’ and Homotopia, with a special LGBTQ feature.
The guide also explores our region’s sporting events and attractions, with the rugby World Cup and World Gymnastics Championships and, of course, our football attractions. But you have to read it. I could never remember it all!
What’s your favourite ‘Liverpool Visitor Guide’ feature this season?
I’m particularly proud of our feature on Liverpool City Region’s borough of Knowsley, covering the opening of its new Shakespeare North Playhouse – certainly a new jewel in our crown as well as the wider visitor economy.
For me, the Shakespeare North Playhouse is one of the most exciting additions to our visitor economy in years. In terms of culture, museums, galleries, and theatres we really do have an offer that’s among the strongest in the UK, and this certifies it. I’ll certainly be seeking out a production or two this summer, as well as visiting some old favourites, like ‘The Beatles Story’. I watched the Beatles Documentary ‘Get Back’ recently, which I loved, and it’s really renewed my passion for The Beatles – the legend grows and I’m always finding our new things about the band.
Part of the job of this guide is to get people to stay in Liverpool City Region longer and to explore the whole region, not just the city centre. When you take in the beaches, the green spaces, the outdoor activity on the page, you start to visualise the vibrant sunny and action-packed experience that Liverpool presents and to ‘do Liverpool’ properly takes more than a day, more than a weekend even.
The guide is actually one of the few documents Marketing Liverpool still print, isn’t it? Tell me about that.
Yes, it is. It’s printed and made available across the UK. Physical copies can help us reach unsuspecting travellers. People that might not ever think about Liverpool or people that like a more immersive read.
What I love about print is that it has an ability to suck you in and present a more comprehensive vision of a place, offering information that people might not necessarily choose to click on but will still find interesting and surprising.
But the guide is also available and promoted digitally, though our flagship brand, VisitLiverpool, so we really use the guide to attract a four-quadrant, wide demographic audience. It needs to appeal to all city-break visitors.
It’s a great read. Something that’s always good to have on hand when you’re looking for something exciting to do. What’s your plan long-term plan for the Visitor Guide?
Thank you. Yes, I agree. It really flags-up the best of what’s coming our way up and new things to look forward to. I’d love to continue to explore Liverpool City Region’s boroughs and bring some of Liverpool’s famous personality into the guide, with guided tours by local people. I think that would work really well. Visitors tell us time and time again how much they enjoy meeting the people of Liverpool.
I also think photography is so important to a publication like this. Liverpool is such a beautiful place. With such a sense of history and atmosphere, especially around the waterfront and docks. I’d love to try and capture that feeling through imagery.
It would also be great to develop our digital edition, with videos and interactive elements. Of course, it’s all about funding, really. This publication is made possible thanks to our many wonderful advertisers from our visitor economy. Without them, this couldn’t happen to the same extent.
Yes, it feels like the world is really bouncing back and seeking some adventure, far beyond our own doorsteps, right now. Planning ahead is the best way to experience more of Liverpool.
This guide is designed to give people a real sense of what it’s actually like to visit Liverpool – the variety, the sense of fun, the music, the culture, the openness to new experiences – and hopefully encourage them to come and experience the city region for themselves. It’s a fairly compact guide but it does a big job.
Read the VisitLiverpool Summer to Autumn 2022 guide HERE.