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Are stags and hens good for the city?

Some people don't like such visitors, but are they just killjoys?

Written by . Published on November 21st 2011.

Are stags and hens good for the city?

IS Liverpool the new Crapital of Boozy Parties?

It starts early on Friday with a procession of stag and hen revellers parading towards city centre bars. You can spot the non- blushing bride a mile off, she’s the one carrying the jumbo-sized inflatable penis.

The groom, likewise, will be cavorting with an inflatable life-sized naked woman. They’ll have checked into their dorms at the apartment-motels, daubed themselves with warpaint and and entered the fray. This is Friday Night Fever, Liverpool style.

The pre-wedding visitors are usually guilty of nothing
more than being lousy singers in the karaoke bars

 Like it or not, it has become a nice little earner for Liverpool’s leisure and tourism industry. The street cleaners are also in on the act, mopping up the vomit on those late night treks back to the dorms.

Well if stag and hen parties have been good enough to prop up Blackpool and Rhyl for decades why not Liverpool? Maybe there is scope for a telly drama like The Only Way is Scouse-sex. Oh, sorry, there is.

Stephen Roberts, deputy chairman of the Liverpool Hoteliers Association, says there is a danger of the city devaluing its “offer” by becoming a favourite destination for such raucousness.

Mr Roberts, custodian of the Crowne Plaza down at Princes Dock, adds that despite increased visitor numbers there is considerable oversupply of hotel accommodation in general in the city.

He was commenting on the news the former gold-domed headquarters of the Royal and Sun Alliance is being converted into a 125-bed Travelodge, at a cost of £3.5m.

The impressive building was vacated by the Royal when it moved in the 1970s to the infamous giant sandcastle in Old Hall Street.

Hotel developers, particularly at the budget end of the market, seem keen to invest in and around Liverpool. And why not? Cheaper rooms will attract not just the friends of people about to embark on a matrimonial journey, but a whole range of visitors, theatre goers, museum visitors, lovers of architecture.

The more the merrier and, as far as I have observed, the pre-wedding visitors are usually guilty of nothing more than being lousy singers in the karaoke bars.

Despite concerns raised about possible over-provision of hotel beds, figures released a few days ago by The Mersey Partnership are encouraging.

The City Region’s visitor economy is performing strongly, sustaining growth and bucking national trends, say TMP.

Latest figures show a 5pc growth in visitor spend and tourism supported jobs and an increase of 8pc in staying visitors and 4pc in day visitors compared to the previous year..

Independent research shows in 2010 an estimated 54.5m visitor trips were made to Liverpool City Region, including 4.4m staying visitors and 50.1m day visitors.

Liverpool’s success compares with UK performance figures which estimate that in 2010 domestic overnight tourism fell by 5pc.

TMP Chief Executive, Lorraine Rogers, said: “Liverpool City Region’s vsitor economy is not only showing strong growth but is significantly exceeding national performance levels. Other research shows growth in the City Region’s Visitor Economy in 2010 was ranked third ahead of other sectors including transport, financial services and manufacturing.”

City Council Leader Joe Anderson, said: “The economic impact of the visitor economy should never be underestimated as it brings millions of pounds into the city, helps create jobs and brings in investment.”

The good news is the improved performance in 2010 already appears to be continuing into 2011 according to the latest research into the performance of the destination’s hotel sector. Between July and September a total of 642,944 rooms were sold – an increase of 6.8pc on the same period last year.

So what is tourism and leisure and all of those stag and hen parties worth to Liverpool? Leisure and tourism earns us £4.2bn a year and supports 55,000 jobs.

Make mine a WKD.

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