The Eurovision Song Contest could give a £30 million boost to Liverpool’s economy.
The host city of the 2023 competition was announced on Friday evening and by Saturday morning hotels were already selling out, with some accommodation advertised for more than £4,000 a night.
Director of Culture Liverpool Claire McColgan said she believed a predicted economic impact of £30 million was an underestimate for Liverpool, where the visitor economy makes up 47% of the economy.
She said: “Things are quite bleak so to have that light at the end of the tunnel where you just know this city will be packed out probably for a month either side of Eurovision would keep you going if you were a small business.
“That’s one of the reasons we decided to do it because we wanted to absolutely protect and stabilise that sector that’s been hit through Covid and now is going to be hit through the cost-of-living crisis and what we’re coming to. They are people’s jobs and lives.”
The contest will be paid for by a combination of local and national government funding, as well as by broadcasters.
Ms McColgan said it would be “absolutely worth the investment”.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool Business Improvement District (BID) company, said many in the city were waking up with hangovers on Saturday after celebrating the news.
He said: “This moment is the realisation waking up, now the hard work starts. It’s been a lot of hard work getting the bid together to submit, convincing BBC and the European Broadcasting Union that Liverpool is the place to come.
“The team has done that, now we have to deliver.
“Liverpool’s visitor economy is buoyant and has been recovering post-pandemic. We were worried about what was going to happen this autumn and we are still are very seriously concerned about the impact of cost-of-living increases.
“This is such a significant boost. It will be a boost for not just the city centre but the whole city region.”
He said the contest could have a long-term positive impact on the city, with 160 million people from around the globe expected to see it on television.
He added: “When we understand the full cost of this we’ll realise that it’s actually a significant investment in the medium and long-term future and it’s about securing jobs, it’s about securing opportunities for the whole of the city.”