Downtown in Business Liverpool hosted its first breakfast event since lockdown eased in the stunning setting of Hope Street Hotel. With the backdrop of a spectacular view across the city on a (relatively) lovely morning the discussion, sponsored by B&M Waste Services, explored the tourism sector in the city heard from a variety of key speakers.
After brief period of socially distanced networking over breakfast proceedings were initiated by host for the day, Bill Addy from the Liverpool BID Company, by introducing the panel and allowing them to highlight the upcoming projects and their struggles over the last 18 months.
Laura Pye from National Museums Liverpool addressed the issues the Museums faced over lockdown and whilst remaining optimistic for the future shared her concerns about the current situation being an unviable long-term solution.
Laura pointed out that “whilst 20000 people attended the museums in the first week of opening since lockdown, this is nowhere near the 55000 recorded in the same week in 2019.”
Next, we heard from Sharon Simons from Liverpool Film Office as she considered how Liverpool’s expanding film offering was one of the more successful industries during lockdown. She also highlighted how they wish to work more closely with the local business community to ensure future productions can operate and collaborate with the Liverpool economy more closely.
Sharon also pointed out that, whilst they want to work with more local businesses, Film and TV productions coming into the city was never a bad thing as these productions bring with them people who will then go on to eat and stay in the city.
Sharon also highlighted the need for Liverpool to “begin taking advantage of the film tourism sector as people want to visit places they see on TV”; this is something that Liverpool does not take advantage of enough.
Jack Harlock from Crown Brands highlighted how he is to help attract international brands to the city with some exciting brands lined up telling the audience look out for more information soon.
Jack was incredibly positive about the offering that Liverpool has and highlighted how attractive a prospect Liverpool can be for global brands. Highlighting that Liverpool is only a two-hour journey away from London can be used as a key selling point to global businesses.
Finally, the audience heard from Charlotte Winby, from the event venue Hope Street Hotel. As with her fellow panellists, Charlotte detailed the struggles the hotel and the wider sector had to content with since March 2020 and was delighted that Hope Street Hotel was able to keep 100% of its staff employed during these challenging times.
Perhaps the most important issue was raised by Charlotte, as whilst she was thrilled that Liverpool FC qualified for European football, recognising that the additional tourism this gains for the city, she was eager to point out that Liverpool needs to make itself a business destination rather than a tourist one. Highlighting that there is a big imbalance between leisure travellers and business travellers in the region.
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