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THE IMPACT OF LIVERPOOL EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2008 ON MERSEYSIDE TOURISM BUSINESSES Creative Industries and Creative Communities 2009 Stoke on Trent.

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Presentation on theme: "THE IMPACT OF LIVERPOOL EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2008 ON MERSEYSIDE TOURISM BUSINESSES Creative Industries and Creative Communities 2009 Stoke on Trent."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE IMPACT OF LIVERPOOL EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2008 ON MERSEYSIDE TOURISM BUSINESSES Creative Industries and Creative Communities 2009 Stoke on Trent 11 th November 2009 Giles A. Barrett Liverpool John Moores University & David McEvoy Liverpool John Moores University & University of Bradford

2 ABSTRACT: Culture is a widespread feature of contemporary urban regeneration strategies. This paper examines how one major cultural event, Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008, affected tourism businesses in the Merseyside region. The initial purpose of the European Cities (later Capital) of Culture programme was to highlight the cultural wealth and diversity of European cities. The panel selecting Liverpool as Capital of Culture for 2008 emphasised its architecture, its visual arts tradition, its pop music pedigree, its sporting excellence, and its commitment to new media. This study collected qualitative interview and questionnaire data from 6 key informants and 54 businesses: 29 providing visitor accommodation, 15 visitor attractions, and 10 others (retail, transport, restaurants). Twenty-four businesses were located in Liverpool, and the other 30 in surrounding local authorities. Businesses were overwhelmingly positive about the region’s experience of Capital of Culture, with positive opinions even more common in Liverpool than elsewhere. The most common positive impact identified was improved perception of Liverpool and Merseyside. The most common contributions to these effects were held to be three celebrations of creativity: Tate Liverpool’s Klimt exhibition; 125 geographically-dispersed miniature reinterpretations of Taro Chiezo’s Superlambanana sculpture; and the extraordinary five-day French performance art invasion/occupation of the city centre by the perambulatory 15-metre mechanical spider La Princesse. Despite wholesale approval of Capital of Culture businesses ranked it only eighth of eleven factors contributing to regional prosperity. They found it difficult to disentangle its influence from that of other recent developments in the city and region such as the Arena and Conference Centre, the Liverpool One Shopping Centre, and the Cruise Liner Terminal, all of which opened during 2007 and The onset of the credit crunch during 2008 further complicates matters. Thirty-one of 49 clear responses indicated an increase in turnover during 2008, and only eight reported decline. About 85% of firms in Liverpool saw turnover increase, but only about 45% elsewhere. Expectations of turnover decline in 2009 run at about twice the level of expectations of increase. Subsequently pessimism decreases, with over half of firms expecting growing turnover in 2012 and Capital of Culture has contributed substantially to Liverpool’s self-esteem and appears to have added to the economic stimulus to tourism resulting from related economic and cultural initiatives. Disentangling relative contributions is however problematic. The effects are however geographically uneven, and there is no indication that cultural measures are substantial enough to resolve long-term regeneration problems.

3 Culture is a widespread feature of contemporary urban regeneration strategies This paper examines how one major cultural event, Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008, affected tourism businesses in the Merseyside region Some tourism businesses may themselves be part of cultural activity (e.g. theatres, galleries, restaurants) while others may not (e.g. hotels, shops)

4 Purpose of European Cities (later Capitals) of Culture Programme: to highlight the cultural wealth and diversity of European cities 1985Athens 1986Florence 1987 Amsterdam 1988(West) Berlin 1989 Paris 1990Glasgow 1991Dublin 1992Madrid 1993Antwerp 1994Lisbon 1995Luxembourg 1996Copenhagen 1997Thessalonica 1998Stockholm 1999 Weimar 2000 Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Helsinki, Krakow, Reykjavik, Prague, Santiago de Compostela 2001Porto, Rotterdam 2002Bruges, Salamanca 2003Graz 2004Genoa, Lille 2005Cork 2006Patras 2007Luxembourg, Sibiu 2008Liverpool, Stavanger 2009Vilnius, Linz

5 Selection panel emphasised Liverpool’s Architecture Visual arts tradition sporting excellence new media And yeah, yeah, yeah ! Liverpool’s musical tradition For copyright reasons the photos in the internet links shown in this slide cannot be reproduced here – but you can access them by pasting the links into your browser

6 This study uses qualitative interview and internet questionnaire data Interviews: 6 key informants and 11 businesses: 29 Internet questionnaires: 43 further businesses The 54 businesses comprised: 29 providing visitor accommodation 15 visitor attractions (but no national museums) 10 others (retail, transport, restaurants) Twenty-four businesses in Liverpool 30 in surrounding local authorities

7 How positive or negative would you say Liverpool being European Capital of Culture 2008 has been for Liverpool and Merseyside? Businesses overwhelmingly positive about the region’s experience of ECoC 2008 Column %TotalsLiverpoolElsewhere Very positive Positive Neutral Negative Very negative 000 Totals100(53)100(24)100(29) Very positive opinions even more common in Liverpool than elsewhere Big firms more positive than small firms Attractions more positive than hotels or other businesses

8 Most common positive Impacts of ECoC 2008 identified as three celebrations of culture 1.The Klimt exhibition

9 2. La Princesse 50 feet high 37 tons Crew of 12 Appeared 3-7 September For copyright reasons the photos in the internet links shown in this slide cannot be reproduced here – but you can access them by pasting the links into your browser

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11 3. The Superlambananas The original at LJMU

12 © David J Colbran – Some of the 125 miniatures For copyright reasons the photos in the internet links shown in this slide cannot be reproduced here – but you can access them by pasting the links into your browser

13 Hunting in packs For copyright reasons the photo in the internet link shown in this slide cannot be reproduced here – but you can access it by pasting the link into your browser

14 Neither Klimt nor La Princesse were expressions of local creativity Note that these were events created for 2008 – and at least two could have been done elsewhere The superlambananas were the result of a local artist creating a full-size version of a Japanese artist’s four inch model – but until 2008 the original was not a major part of the Liverpool image – and the replicas were new

15 31 of 49 clear answers reported turnover increase in only 8 reported decline – but major geographical differences

16 Other recent developments 1.Arena & Convention Centre 2. Liverpool One Shopping 3. Cruise Liner Terminal For copyright reasons the photos in the internet links shown in this slide cannot be reproduced here – but you can access them by pasting the links into your browser

17 Please indicate how the following factors influenced your turnover during 2008

18 But impact on turnover of individual businesses in 2008 is one thing – impact on regional prosperity is quite another Despite wholesale approval of Capital of Culture businesses ranked it only eighth of eleven factors adding to regional prosperity ECoC contribution to city and region invaluable - but long- term prosperity needs more persistent drivers

19 Impact of Credit Crunch No. of firms providing answer increases from 21 in 2003 to 49 in 2008 – declines to 16 in 2013

20 How well did the Liverpool Culture Company organise Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture 2008? “I was previously sceptical, but they did a good job” “It took a while for it to get going … but it did deliver a very strong year in the end and much of their work was outstanding” “I was disillusioned beforehand …but the year went better than anybody could have imagined”.

21 ECoC contributed greatly to Liverpool’s self-esteem And has added to stimulus to tourism resulting from related economic and cultural initiatives But disentangling relative contributions is problematic, and effects are geographically uneven There is no indication that cultural measures are substantial enough in themselves to resolve long- term regeneration problems Liverpool did ECoC very well, but it only worked because city and region already had a strong cultural infrastructure and an ongoing programme of new investments Conclusions The local infrastructure is more important than the events – at least some of which can be imported


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