Music tourism’s £264m city boost

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The Beatles © Trinity Mirror

The Beatles © Trinity Mirror

Music tourism in Liverpool brings around £264m into the economy each year, according to a report published this week.

The Wish You Were Here report by UK Music and VisitBritain revealed that in 2012 6.5 million tourists visited Britain last year to attend a festival or live show, pumping a collective £2.2 billion into the country’s economy.

According to UK Music’s statistics, the North West region makes up 12% of the overall annual share, an estimated 965,000 tourists, placing the region at the second highest in the UK behind London.

Of that amount, Liverpool City Council reckons that music tourism, particularly Beatles-related tourism, attracts 600,000 people to the city every year.

Dave Pichilingi, founder of Liverpool’s massively popular Sound City festival, said: “Liverpool Sound City attracts visitors from 23 different countries from Japan to Canada and Australia to Spain.

“We have the reputation, the history, the credibility and the infrastructure. Quite simply we lead the way for the UK in terms of architecture and popular culture. The Liverpool music scene is the bedrock of all of this.”

The report states that music tourists in the North West spend at least £132 million a year, benefitting the North West economy by £56 million a year and sustaining the equivalent of 1,400 full time jobs.

Chief executive of UK Music, Jo Dipple, said that the study was the most comprehensive look at music tourism ever produced praised the ability of the British music scene to continue to generate such a large amount of revenue.

“The total direct and indirect spend of £2.2bn is incredibly impressive in a year that had its own problems,” she said, pointing to issues such as the poor weather, no Glastonbury Festival last year and continuing problems in the wider economy.

About Ryan McElroy, JMU Journalism