Liverpool City Region business leaders alongside Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, LEP Chair Asif Hamid MBE and senior representatives from Local Authorities, welcomed the new chair of the British Tourist Authority – the Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin – to the city region today (4th August).

Among the many points discussed was the importance of the tourism to the city region and the opportunities for progressing the Tourism Sector Deal approved by Government last year. There was also much focus placed on Covid-19 and the city region’s priorities for supporting businesses in order to sustain the sector and protect jobs.

Organised by Growth Platform, together with Marketing Liverpool and the national tourism agency VisitBritain, the trip enabled Sir Patrick to discuss first-hand the opportunities and challenges facing the region’s visitor economy and the ongoing role Visit Britain will have in supporting Covid-19 Recovery.

Laura Pye, Chair of the city region Visitor Economy Board and Director of National Museums Liverpool, said:

“It was a pleasure to welcome Sir Patrick to the city region today. The visitor economy has obviously been hit the hardest during this pandemic and this visit has given us an opportunity to discuss with Sir Patrick the challenges and opportunities our visitor economy is facing and what measures are needed to support the sector, which are so vital for our city region.

“As Chair of the Visitor Economy Board for the city region we have been working tirelessly to ensure we have a robust recovery plan for the region, aligned with our stakeholder priorities to ensure we can secure this sector, support our businesses and protect jobs to help our economy recover and grow.”

Sir Patrick was joined by Lyndsey Turner-Swift – head of England Planning and Delivery at VisitEngland – both were welcomed by The ACC Liverpool Group to observe the VisitEngland We’re Good to Go accreditation compliance measures in place at the campus, as well as to discuss the impact of coronavirus on the visitor economy and recovery plans.

Sir Patrick also attended a series of meetings with other city region stakeholders including the Liverpool Hospitality Association and the LCR Visitor Economy Board.

Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin said:

“Now more than ever is the time to support tourism get back on its feet and once again deliver economic benefits locally. Collaboration is key to the visitor economy’s recovery post-pandemic and I’m delighted to see so the city’s businesses in action.”

Key points of the Recovery Plan for the city region visitor economy are:

  • Increasing business support and advice for VE businesses.
  • Working with employers to support those that have or are going to be made redundant back into training and employment.
  • Securing investment to attract visitors back the city region when it is appropriate through events, business events and destination marketing.
  • Working with Visit Britain to progress/implement the Tourism Sector Deal.