Who and Why Visit Liverpool

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The origin of visitors to the Liverpool City Region is fairly evenly spread between the City Region itself (35%), elsewhere in the North West (33%) and elsewhere in the UK (27%). 4% of visitors were from overseas. 14% of visitors came from the Liverpool district. Within the North West (outside LCR), 13% came from Cheshire, 10% from Greater Manchester, 9% from Lancashire and 2% from Cumbria. Elsewhere in the UK, the main sources of visitor were Yorkshire (5%), North Wales (4%), the West Midlands (4%) and the North East (3%). We have collected the most important data researched by liverpoollep.

Breakdown of UK visitors:

Yorkshire (5%) North Wales (4%) West Midlands (4%) North East (3%) London (2%) South East (2%) South West (2%) Scotland (2%) East Midlands (1%) Wales (elsewhere) (1%) East (1%) Northern Ireland (1%)

These are just a few of the regions that overseas visitors came from:
Western Europe 1% Australia 1%
North America 2%


Visitor origin varies considerably by district. Liverpool attracts a high proportion of visitors from elsewhere in the UK (46%) and a high proportion of overseas visitors (10%). Elsewhere, origin proportions correspond quite logically with geographies, with Sefton attracting high proportions from Liverpool and Lancashire, Wirral attracting high proportions from Cheshire and elsewhere in the UK, Knowsley with a high proportion from Liverpool, St Helens with a high proportion from Greater Manchester, and Halton with a high proportion from Cheshire.


The GB Day Visitor Survey 2014 found that the average distance travelled on a tourism day trip in the North West was 47 miles. This corresponds with the findings of this survey, with 85% of day visitors to the Liverpool City Region coming from within the North West region – 45% from the Liverpool City Region and 40% from elsewhere in the North West.
Within the North West, 16% came from Cheshire, 12% from Greater Manchester, 10% from Lancashire and 2% from Cumbria.
Wales, Yorkshire and the West Midlands were the main sources of day visitor from elsewhere in the UK.

Breakdown of UK visitors:
Wales (4%) Yorkshire (3%) West Midlands (2%) North East (1%) London (1%) Scotland (1%) East Midlands (1%) South East (1%)


The majority of staying visitors came from elsewhere in the UK (outside the North West), (71%). 14% came from overseas and only 13% came from within the North West.
There was quite a wide spread of visitor origin from throughout the UK. Yorkshire and the West Midlands were the top two sources (12% and 10%) followed by the South West (9%) and the North East (8%).
Within the North West, 7% came from Lancashire, followed by 3% from Greater Manchester, 2% from Cumbria and 1% from Cheshire.

Breakdown of UK visitors:
Yorkshire (12%) West Midlands (10%) South West (9%) North East (8%) Wales (6%) London (6%) South East (6%) Scotland (5%) Northern Ireland (4%) East Midlands (3%)


Based on this:
• 21% of visitors were children, a much lower proportion than in 2010 (29%).
• 22% were aged 16-34, compared to 16% in 2010.
• 16% were aged 65 or older (17% in 2010)
• 44% were Male / 56% Female, compared to 48% Male; 52% Female in 2010.


Based on this:
• 20% of visitors were children
• 22% were aged 16-34
• 16% were aged 65 or older
• 44% were Male / 56% Female

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60% of the respondents were in some form of employment whilst 28% were retired.
Proportions are reasonably similar across all districts although Knowsley had a higher percentage of visitors in employment (79%) and lower percentage who were retired (12%).
Further exploration of these figures shows that:
• Most employed visitors were in the City Region to visit an attraction (40%).
• Over a quarter of the retired visitors were also in the City Region to visit an attraction (32%), whilst a tenth were here visiting friends or relatives (17%).

The two main group profiles were families with children (28%) and ‘with partner/spouse’ (27%).
Quite a high proportion were travelling on their own (19%). Liverpool and St Helens had particularly high proportions of people travelling on their own (28% and 27%).

By comparison, the 2010 survey found that just 7% of visitors were travelling on their own, 48% with family (inc children).
Knowsley stands out as the district with predominantly family (inc children) visits – 76% whilst Halton attracts mainly family (exc children) visits – 89%.

Almost three quarters were on a day trip from home (72%) whilst 23% were staying visitors.
Liverpool had the highest proportion of staying visitors – 46%, whilst in Knowsley, St. Helens and Halton, the day trip market accounted for over 90% of visitors.


Most staying visitors chose to stay with their friends or relatives (51%). 38% were staying in hotels. By comparison in 2010, 37% of visitors were staying with friends/relatives, 46% were staying in hotels.

Visitors were most likely to stay within the Liverpool City Region.

The main reason for visiting the City Region was to visit an attraction, although the proportion of visitors citing this as their main motivation was significantly lower than in 2010 – 36% in 2015 compared to 48% in 2010. (Details of individual attractions can be found in Appendix A.)
The next most common motivation was to visit friends/relatives – 18% of visits compared to just 8% in 2010.
13% of visits were to see/explore the City Region (compared to 30% in 2010) and 8% were to attend an event (the same proportion as in 2010).
Motivations are different for day and staying visitors. Visiting an attraction was by far the biggest motivator for day visitors (42% of day visitors, compared to just 16% of staying visitors). The main motivators for staying visitors were visits to friends/relatives and to see/explore the City Region.

Visit motivations varied considerably by district. Visiting an attraction was the main motivation for 74% of visitors to Knowsley and 67% of visitors to Halton, compared to just 8% of visitors to Liverpool and 13% of visitors to Sefton. Seeing/exploring the City Region was the main reason for visits to Liverpool, followed by visits to friends/relatives and ‘other’. ‘Other’ included a large variety of activities, about a third of which were routine appointments/activities, two thirds of which were day out-type activities such as visiting attractions/areas, meeting friends, eating out and just general trips out.


Relative to other districts, events were important for St. Helens (the main motivation for 21% of visitors). Sefton was the district with the highest proportion of visitors with leisure/holiday as their main motivation.

By far the most significant influence on visiting was having been before (the main influence for 57% of visitors).
22% of respondents were mainly influenced by a ‘word of mouth’ recommendation.
The results suggest that adverts and guides had very little influence on the decision to visit.

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For first time visitors, word of mouth recommendation was the main influence on visiting for 61% of visitors.
The next most important influence was the internet (the main influence for 9% of visitors).
VisitLiverpool.com was the main influence for 3% of first time visitors.

A high proportion of visitors visit the City Region regularly. In total, 61% visit at least 2-4 times a year.
The average number of visits per year to the City Region was 4.2 (4.4 in 2010). Knowsley had the highest frequency of visits (4.6 visits per year), Halton had the lowest frequency (3.1 visits per year).
Liverpool had the highest proportion of people visiting at least once a week (11%).
The average number of visits was of course higher for day visitors but even staying visitors had an average of 2.8 visits per year.



58%of visitors travelled to the City Region in their own car. This is a lower proportion than in 2010 when the survey found that 69% of visitors travelled in their own car.
18% travelled by train, slightly up on 2010 (15%) and higher than the national average for day visitors (11%). (GB Day Visits Survey 2014). The national average for domestic staying visitors is 14% (GB Tourism Survey 2014).

Visitors coming from Knowsley and the Wirral were least likely to travel by car (around a third of visitors). By contrast, 85% of visitors from Cheshire travelled by car. Train travel was the main form of transport for those coming from the Wirral (46%).

‘Own car’ is the main mode of transport for both day and staying visitors. Comparing the two visitor types for all car travel (own car/got a lift/car hire/taxi or private hire car), day visitors are more likely to travel by car than staying visitors (69% compared to 59%).

14% of respondents had used a Merseyrail service as part of their visit. Visitors to Liverpool were most likely to have used Merseyrail (26% of respondents).

6% of respondents from outside of the North West region had used Liverpool John Lennon Airport to reach the area.


The ‘overall enjoyment of visit’ scored the highest in the satisfaction ratings, closely followed by the ‘Feeling of welcome’.
A rating of ‘4’ means that the factor is rated as ‘good’. A rating lower than 4 suggests that the factor is considered to be less than good and therefore that improvements should be made to reach a more positive score.
The following factors received a mean score of less than 4:
Shops – Range
Public toilets – Cleanliness
Public toilets – Availability


Almost all respondents were likely at some level to recommend visiting the City Region (90%), with the majority ‘very likely’.
This reflects the overall satisfaction score, with almost all respondents providing a positive response (96%).

The average spend by visitors staying in the City Region was £200.84 (including accommodation). For reference, from the Great Britain Tourism Survey, average spend by staying visitors in the Liverpool City Region was £172 (3-year average, 2012-2014).
Day visitors to the City Region spent an average total of £37.46. This is comparable with the findings of the Great Britain Day Visits Survey which found that average day visitor spend in the North West region in 2014 was £34.



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