An independent report has revealed that the finale of the Giants trilogy is officially the biggest free event EVER to be staged in Liverpool and Wirral.
Liverpool’s Dream took place from 4-7 October and brought in 1.3million visitors to the city and Wirral, and generated a massive £60.6m for the local economies. Broken down, this equates to around 1,220,000 visitors to Liverpool bringing in £58m, and 80,000 to Wirral, bringing in £2.2m.
It smashes previous records held by 2014’s Giants event Memories of August 1914 which had an economic impact of £46m, and 2015’s Three Queens event which welcomed 1.2million visitors to both Liverpool and Wirral. Many of the city’s most famous attractions also saw a 100% rise in attendance.
The report also found:
- 75% of visitors were from the Liverpool City Region and the wider North West, with 22% travelling from elsewhere around the UK and 3% were overseas tourists.
- The average length of stay in the city region was 2.7 nights.
- Visitors staying over spent on average £138.99 per person, with day visitors spending £30 per person.
- Of the non-residents interviewed, 97% were likely to return to Liverpool in the future.
- When asked how they found out about the event, 75% found out from coverage in the media.
- More than half of those interviewed said they would be eating out as part of their trip to see the Giants.
- The majority of people, 90%, said that the Giants event was their sole reason for heading to Liverpool or Wirral.
- Just over half of the respondents had attended a previous Giants event in either 2012 or 2014.
- More than two thirds of visitors arrived at the event on foot.
- High satisfaction rates were given for the event organisation, the quality of the content, the easy access to eating and drinking facilities and overall enjoyment of the experience.
When it came to social media, the official Giants accounts proved massively popular with #LiverpoolGiants trending each day (4-7 October) and tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts reached 12.4 million people. There was interaction with followers from across the globe including Australia, New Zealand, China, Columbia, South Africa and Canada.
The interactive map which showed exactly where the Giants were, was visited 542,326 times.
Other Liverpool institutions and attractions felt the benefit of the unforgettable event when they compared the figures from the Giants weekend, with the same weekend in 2017.
- It was the busiest weekend of the year for Tate Liverpool, with 8,534 visitors, compared to 5,581 during the same weekend last year – an increase of 53%.
- Royal Albert Dock Liverpool saw a 65% increase in footfall. Tapas restaurant Lunyalita saw a 45% uplift in sales with their special the ‘Giant Deli Plank’ selling out. Puffle Waffle experienced its busiest retail day since opening a year before, with hot beverage sales at an all-time high.
- National Museum Liverpool’s waterfront venues welcomed 54,092 visitors across the four days – a massive 108% increase on 2017. The Museum of Liverpool alone experienced a 181% increase in visitors across the four days, with Merseyside Maritime Museum welcoming 63% more people, 5,445 visitors spent time at Pier Master’s House (a 175% increase) and the International Slavery Museum saw 23% more people through its doors.
- 322,000 people headed to Liverpool ONE – 25% busier than the previous year and 9% busier than the 2014 Giants event. And the Giant chasing clearly built up an appetite as from the 5-7 October 126,000 dined at Liverpool ONE, a 45% increase on a normal October weekend.
- Catering sales at Wirral’s Floral Pavilion were up by 73% and they welcomed 350 visitors on the Friday.
- At one point over the four days, Liverpool BID Company saw a 109.7% increase in footfall in one of its areas (Clayton Square/Elliot Street), with overall figures showing that from the 5-7 October there were crowds of 594,843 people – making it one of the retail area’s busiest dates of the year.
Following the event, responses to an online survey which asked for feedback included:
“It was magical.”
“It had the incredible ability to unite people and communities, bringing everyone together to witness the magic.”
“Seeing such beauty and talent against the backdrop of my home city, best city in the world.”
“Loved seeing the Giants but the general atmosphere was amazing. Great to see everyone enjoying the event and all coming together. And it was free!”
The event was one of the major highlights of the Liverpool 2018 programme – a year-long celebration which marked a decade since the city held the game-changing title of European Capital of Culture. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority supported several highlight Liverpool 2018 events, including Liverpool’s Dream, with £5 million from the Single Investment Fund (SIF). The Giants event was also made possible thanks to support by Arts Council England.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “These incredible figures won’t come as a surprise to anyone who witnessed the visit of the Giants.
“This is a city used to staging major, outdoor events, but October’s event took it to the next level. The iconic image of the Giants on The Strand surrounded by people as far as the eye can see captured it perfectly.
“The creative brilliance of Royal de Luxe attracted people not only from across the region, but from all over the globe who came here specifically to see Wirral and Liverpool become a stage on which these Giant characters would perform.
“In these tough financial times, economic boosts of this nature are invaluable. But it’s not just about the money. The pride the Giants engendered is priceless. Events like this aren’t commonplace – very few cities in the world have the creative ambitions to push boundaries, so I am proud that Liverpool and Wirral stand out from the crowd.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team involved in making Liverpool’s Dream such a success – partners across the city, from the police and transport networks right though to volunteers and sponsors, worked together tirelessly to make sure our city shone during this Giant extravaganza.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “This third and final visit of the Giants has exceeded all expectations. It provided a huge boost for the local economy and the inclusion of the Wirral this time round has helped to showcase what the wider city region has to offer as a visitor destination. That’s why we were proud to invest £5million into the 2018 cultural programme.”
The report was produced by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
A limited edition souvenir book chronicling the journey of the Giants is in shops now. To find out where you can buy a copy of In the Hearts of Giants or to order it online, visit www.giantspectacular.com/online-shop.
What they say:
“The Giants captured the hearts and imaginations of many people and we’re delighted to have welcomed some of them into the gallery. Whether they were here to see our free collection displays, relax in our café, or buy a souvenir in the gift shop we’re pleased we played a role in people’s unforgettable visit to Liverpool.”
Helen Legg, Director, Tate Liverpool
“Once again Liverpool has demonstrated how arts and cultural events can captivate the public’s imagination, bring people together, and at the same time elevate the city’s profile to an international platform. Like all who witnessed it, to see such huge numbers come out for the Giants and Liverpool’s Dream was just incredible. It was such a fantastic event for the city and its people to be proud of, and a great way to celebrate Liverpool 2018. The images from The Strand will be etched in our memories for a long time to come.
“The Dock was of course at the heart of much of the spectacle, and we reported a massive spike in footfall on the estate over the three days. I would like to give a giant congratulations to Liverpool City Council, Royal de Luxe, all partners involved and the teams on the ground for making this event such an epic success.”
Sue Grindrod, chief executive, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool
“Speaking to various traders both on the Promenade and in the resort’s main road, Victoria Road, trade was up significantly for that time of year, with many visitors choosing to stay in New Brighton into the evening after the event had finished. One trader commented that they never stopped serving people from the moment they lifted their shutters.
“Events like the Giant spectacular are the life blood of our coastal resort and the visitor numbers make up for those long cold days in February when we can be quiet in the town. New Brighton has undergone a transformation in recent years and is well on track to match its glory days as a resort but with new generations to enjoy its facilities and events of this calibre, long may it continue.”
Tony Jones, Chair of New Brighton Coastal Community Team
“Having the Giants return to the city in October was undoubtedly one of the key ‘moments’ in what has been a fantastic year for Liverpool, as we celebrated 10 years since Capital of Culture, and our own highlight in the 2018 calendar with the Terracotta Warriors visiting World Museum.
“The amazing photographs that appeared in the media have demonstrated the sheer numbers of people who descended on the city to share in the Giants’ final visit, and the Waterfront played a huge part in their story. As a result, we received more than 54,000 visitors to our waterfront venues over the Giants’ weekend – a rise of 108% compared to the same weekend last year. It’s fantastic that people chose to incorporate a visit to our museums into their weekend with the Giants, and we hope they’ll return to enjoy what our venues have to offer all year round.”
Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool
“The Giant Spectacular epitomised everything this special city can achieve when it dreams big. The iconic images of the Giants on our famous waterfront, helped showcase Liverpool to a global audience. Liverpool ONE was abuzz with local visitors and tourists who’d travelled from further afield to enjoy the four-day event. On behalf of Liverpool ONE, well done to Liverpool City Council and all involved in bringing the Giants back to Liverpool for one final time.”
Donna Howitt, marketing director at Liverpool ONE
“I can only echo what others have said around the city in that the return of the Giants was a fantastic event and has done wonders for further raising the profile of brilliant Liverpool. The images that were shared around the world demonstrate just what a fun, fascinating and unique place Liverpool is, which I am sure will translate into more visitors in the future.
“Our levy payers across both BID districts – Retail & Leisure BID and Commercial District BID – have spoken very positively about the event, with, for example, some restaurants located on Castle Street reporting record figures for that weekend. Many businesses have commented on how the event allowed people that would not normally frequent them to know where they are located. And despite initial concerns about disruption to access, levy payers have congratulated the city council for its organisation of the event.
“Liverpool BID Company will continue to work with our partners at city council to ensure our levy payers benefit from any forthcoming events.”
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, which represents the interests of 1,500 levy paying businesses in Liverpool city centre
“The final instalment of the Giants trilogy was a fantastic spectacle for Liverpool’s City Region Visitor Economy. Business demand across all sectors of the business community and across the city region was extremely high and our visitors experienced first-hand how Liverpool can compete on an international level and be recognised as a key destination for business and leisure. And because of the memorable experience our visitors had, I’m sure many of them will return to the city in the future.”
Marcus Magee, Chair of the Liverpool Hospitality Association and General Manager of The Hilton Liverpool