As an important date in the city’s calendar that grows in popularity each year, both local residents and tourists from across the globe descended on the world famous sporting event – resulting in an ‘enormous boost’ for Liverpool’s visitor economy.
Together with contributing to increased hotel occupancy levels and footfall throughout the city, members of Liverpool Hoteliers Association believe that Aintree Races continues to play a ‘crucial part’ in maintaining Liverpool’s stance as a leading UK tourist destination.
Chairman of Liverpool Hoteliers Association, James Rush said: “As the world’s most famous steeplechase, The Crabbie’s Grand National Festival is one of many prominent Liverpool events that helps to maintain its reputation as a city that delivers multi-cultural events that appeal to the masses.
“This year Aintree Races welcomed a record-breaking crowd, which provided a staggering economic boost to the region. From a hospitality perspective, initial reports indicate that Liverpool hotel occupancy figures were strong throughout the sporting festival, which is encouraging, considering the increase in hotel supply over the past few years - benefiting both local independent and leading hotel chains. It is also adds to the vibrancy and character of the city, and a lot of food and beverage is consumed at the hotels, as well as the racetrack.
“Following the increase in footfall during the event, thousands of Liverpool restaurants, bars, shops, salons and attractions also received heightened custom and therefore contributed to the city’s overall economy boost.”
Since its establishment in 1839, the Grand National has become more than just about horse racing – it’s now a renowned Liverpool attraction and a platform for showcasing top fashion. Likewise, the event is now popular with the corporate sector due to its capabilities of providing prestigious entertainment to clients and networking in a unique environment.
Steven Hesketh, Executive Committee Member of Liverpool Hoteliers Association said: “Aintree Races is a big hitting event for Liverpool, and has helped to put our culturally diverse city on the map.
“As always this year’s event has had a huge impact on the city when it comes to boosting hotel rates and occupancy figures. Whether it be tourists or local residents - the demand for hotel rooms during the three days remains consistent year on year, however hoteliers are mindful that we must stay competitive when these crucial events hit the city.
“It’s evident that we all, along with many local businesses and city attractions have witnessed an increase in economic surge.”
Conor O’Donovan, Member of Liverpool Hoteliers Association added: “Aintree Races is such a notable date in Liverpool’s busy events calendar. As the sporting event attracts race-goers on both a local and global scale, we continue to see renewed growth in hotel occupancy levels year on year with occupancy rates slowly returning to 2008 levels. Figures indicate that the Grand National and Ladies Day in particular are becoming ever more popular, and this combined with the Irish market beginning to come in their droves is helping to drive occupancy.
“Whilst Friday and Saturday continue to be the most sought-after days, I speak on behalf of other hoteliers and myself when I say that we mustn’t lag when it comes to looking at ways to increase hotel residency throughout the entire three-day course, and a little more emphasis needs to be placed on the Thursday as well.”