CITY RIVALS COME TOGETHER TO TOAST LIVERPOOL’S THRIVING HOSPITALITY SCENE
Bringing a number of business rivals together for a two-hour boat trip could be a recipe for disaster – but not in Liverpool.
As the most famous sons of this great city once sang “Come Together” – that’s exactly what Liverpool’s hotels, bars and restaurants did earlier this autumn.
They came together under the umbrella of the Liverpool Hospitality Association with one aim in mind – spreading the word about the city’s great nightlife, food, drink and places to stay.
It wasn’t a day about rival businesses, it was a day celebrating Liverpool, promoting Liverpool and working together to sell Liverpool as a place to visit, stay and hold conventions in.
Representatives from hotels, restaurants and bars throughout the city could be seen clinking glasses filled with Liverpool Gin and tonic and toasting the future of city’s thriving hospitality sector on the famous Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey.”
Sarah Kelly, the group sales manager at Savvy Hotels said: “This has been a very successful event once again for the Liverpool Hospitality Association.
“You wouldn’t normally see rival businesses working together to promote a city, but that is exactly what we do at the LHA. The unique friendliness in this city really shines through in the hospitality sector, and by working together to promote Liverpool as a city to visit and hold events in, we are attracting a lot of attention.”
Around 120 guests from the region’s premier venues attended the Liverpool Hospitality Association (LHA) social for a night of networking with like-minded professionals on board The Snowdrop dazzle ferry.
The LHA is a non-profit organisation run by hoteliers, restaurateurs and bars within the region who are passionate about championing the vibrant cultural city of Liverpool and ensuring world-class service.
The organisation is unique, in that, competitors cast off any friendly rivalry to come together to create a united front for the hospitality industry in Liverpool which is fast becoming a top food and drink destination to rival its Manchester and London neighbours.
This is largely due to a raft of regeneration and the city’s thriving independent scene. There has been a 25.2% growth in restaurants and bars in Liverpool over the last five years making it a top choice for anyone developing their restaurant brand.
This boom in the hospitality industry led the Liverpool Hoteliers Association and the Liverpool Restaurant Association to join forces and merge two years ago to create the Liverpool Hospitality Association.
Tom Cobden, the association’s chair of sales and revenue, believes Liverpool’s approach is unique:
“I’ve worked in Birmingham, Preston, Manchester and Leeds and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.
“It’s great just how well we all work together – there’s a sprinkle of magic in Liverpool. We were delighted with the success of our social event. It was a fantastic night. We had a great turn out and it gave people the ideal chance to relax in an informal setting and for us to showcase the work that we do.
“We may be rivals but we speak with one voice to promote our amazing city. Nobody does it like Liverpool.”
The Association takes on the role of being a collective voice for the hospitality sector within the Liverpool City Region economy and a powerful force for selling the whole Liverpool experience to the world and promoting that warm Scouse welcome which no other city can replicate.
Meeting every two months, members discuss issues affecting the sector, highlight any up and coming events and opportunities, find out about local attractions, share best practice and spread the word about the city’s unrivalled nightlife, eateries and accommodation.
The LHA ensures members’ views are represented in key city and regional forums and works together to identify any skills gaps, embracing apprenticeship and training opportunities and collaborating with local colleges and universities.
It also hosts a number of social events and awards to celebrate the hardworking employees of the exciting, yet challenging, hospitality industry and provide an opportunity for recognition and reward within teams at all levels.
The competition between venues is healthy and respected within the group, but as Marcus Magee, the chairman of the LHA, explained there is a bigger agenda.
He revealed: “The Liverpool Hospitality Association is all about collaboration with our members. We share best practice and, in turn, this continuously develops the knowledge of our members on our great city.
“Our network has continued to grow every year and this has been driven not only by the way we work with our members but how we engage with key business stakeholders within Liverpool and the wider region.”
The LHA currently has around 90 members which is growing fast, but the executive committee hopes that by widening the group out to all aspects of the nighttime economy, the Association will continue to flourish and grow.
Key business leaders were invited to the celebration event to learn more about the LHA and hear the latest news and views in the industry, as well as enjoying excellent food and drink, plus entertainment courtesy of Cavern Club favourite, Callum Mac.
Adam Birch, sales and marketing executive, The Pullman Hotel Liverpool said: “The LHA event on-board Snowdrop was a huge success for all attendees and the city of Liverpool as a whole, it’s so refreshing to see and be a part of the collaboration of businesses working together for the greater good of the city.
“This, among many others, is the reason the city garners such attraction year on year and the reason the city is able to thrive in the way that it does.”
Ben Williams, commercial director of The ACC Liverpool Group which operates M&S Bank Arena, ACC Liverpool and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, added: “The success of the city is largely based upon a number of key organisations working closely together.
“We all have the collective aim to promote the region and attract visitors, in turn generating economic impact for the city, so having the opportunity to meet regularly with stakeholders is integral to developing these relationships.
“Our thanks go to LHA for organising the event.”
To find out more about The Liverpool Hospitality Association and its membership visit www.liverpoolhospitalityassociation.com
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