People in the travel trade industry often share vital information. Secrets, strategies, insider tips and internal ‘top secret’ findings – all in the pursuit of making global travel better, whilst positioning your own destination as exemplar.
Such tactical ‘leaks’ here and there help Liverpool City Region’s VisitLiverpool team network with our industry and keep us part of the global travel trade conversation.
Marketing Liverpool’s very own man of mystery, Campaign Manager, James Wood isn’t exactly known for his discretion, when it comes to Liverpool. In fact, he’s a man on a mission to ensure our region lands front and centre in as many media outlets as he can.
In his sights this month is Travel Trade industry bible, Insider Travel Report, who James met up with last month at the annual three-day trade fair ‘Destination Britain North America’ held in Washington D.C. Insider Travel Report regularly showcases international destinations, tours, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and resorts for a global community of travel professionals across it’s suite of online platforms.
Want to know what secrets James divulged? Read highlights from the transcript or watch the video below. In travel trade circles, sharing really is caring and Liverpool loves to take people along on our journey to welcome more visitors to Liverpool.
(Comments have been edited for brevity and clarity.)
ON LIVERPOOL’S ‘GLOW-UP’ AND POST COVID COMEBACK
“Liverpool’s Visitor economy was riding high until the pandemic hit and our international tourists dried up. But we carried on, putting a lot of time and effort into making sure that when the market returned we were ready for those tourists, developing our public spaces, planting trees, improving walkways and the city is looking really polished now.”
“Liverpool witnessed a bit of a boom in domestic visits during the pandemic, with many new visitors to the city coming from London and the South, which was amazing because a lot of them had never been to Liverpool before.
“These visitors just couldn’t believe the city, how great it looks, how beautiful the buildings were, how diverse and complete the visitor economy is, but also how easily accessible things are in relation to each other, as Liverpool City Centre is so jam packed with attractions, yet so easy to get around on foot.
ON WELCOMING BACK INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS & AMERICAN ALLIES
“This summer we’ve seen cruise ships coming back to Liverpool, bringing lots of happy American tourists, which is always great to see. This remarkably fast resurgence of the cruise industry is helping to make up for some of the lost business that we’ve had during the height of the pandemic.
“The American and Canadian markets are definitely our early recovery markets. We’re getting a lot of interest from those countries and that’s tying in with some of the work that we’re doing overseas as well.
ON LIVERPOOL AND IRELAND’S SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
“Another key market for us is Ireland. That’s always been a very strong market for Liverpool, probably our number one market, to be honest. There’s a long-established cultural exchange between Ireland and Liverpool, with many family connections and historical links between the two.
ON OUR ONGOING CHARM OFFENSIVE WITH THE REST OF EUROPE
“Visitors from European countries are starting to come back to Liverpool now. But I don’t think we’ll see full recovery until the back end of 2023, to be honest, so. So there’s still much work to be done.
“This event is enabling us us to work with our partners VisitBritian and hold lots of meetings with tour operators across the US and Canada and it’s been great to reconnect with them after not seeing them for years.
“There are now also totally new teams and contacts to meet with. So we have new contacts to educate about Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy offer and all the new additions that have occurred over the last couple of years. The city hasn’t just stood still, we’ve actually got some fantastic new products opening or about to open, including the children’s education museum Eureka! As well as many new restaurants, bars and hotels, which is excellent.
“Novatel have just opened an incredibly modern, super-accessible hotel, designed especially for visitors with accessibility needs. Radison Red is also opening soon. This was once a huge, historic hotel, built in the 1850s, which was closed for many years but has now been lovingly brought back to life. What’s amazing is that it’s retained much of its Victorian grandeur but now comes complete with the latest technology and facilities. They’ve done such a good job that Radison Red is set to become their flagship hotel, which is a real honour for Liverpool.
ON OUR AUTUMN/WINTER SEASON OF BIG EVENTS
“Liverpool is well known for its world class events programme. This autumn we have the Turner Art Prize at the Tate Liverpool art gallery, which will run right through to the early 2023. We also have the return of our spectacularly popular annual open air art gallery ‘River of Light’ – which illuminates our River Mersey and city centre with giant artistic light installations, just when the nights are drawing in.
ON OUR PERFECTLY PLACED CENTRAL UK POSITION
“Liverpool is very well positioned because we’re basically in the centre of the country. By rail you can get from London to Liverpool in just over two hours. So it’s really to get to Liverpool from anywhere in the UK.
“Liverpool is also a port city, so there are ferries that go from Liverpool over to Ireland via Holyhead, which is only an hour and a half away from Liverpool and also has services going into Dublin in Ireland as well.
“On the airline front, which is obviously really important for overseas visitors, Liverpool is served by two international airports. Manchester Airport and of course, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which was recently recognised by ‘Which?’ as one of the very best airports in the country and both airports are within about 15 minutes of the city. So Liverpool is really easy to fly into.
“We also have a couple of new airlines joining Liverpool airport. Lufthansa have recently provided a direct route to and from Frankfurt, further connecting us to the whole world, which is excellent. And also budget airline Play have just started their new route to and from Reykjavik in Iceland into Liverpool. Again, those flights from Reykjavik also further connect Liverpool by air to the rest of the world. But most importantly they further connect Liverpool to the East Coast US market, providing routes to and from Washington, New York, Baltimore and Boston. So all very exciting stuff, going forward.
ON ADVICE FOR TRAVEL ADVISORS LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON LIVERPOOL
“The best place to go is visitliverpool.com. And on there, you’re able to download our travel trade guide. This guide has lots of itinerary ideas, contacts, places to go, things to see lots of images on there as well, and of course, people are always more than welcome to contact me direct if they wish to. That’s no problem at all!”
You can contact James on email@example.com
For more information on the work of Marketing Liverpool click HERE.
For more on Insider Travel Report click HERE.