Engage is pressing ahead with organising this year’s seminar series where we want to propose a new social contract between tourists and residents. We feel quite strongly that we want to suggest to the city and city region that we position Liverpool as we emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic as one of the best in the UK for the quality of our welcome to those who will come here as part of the visitor economy.

Many simply focus on what UNESCO would call the tangible assets, namely places associated with the Beatles and football, the historic buildings and architectural gems. However UNESCO also has a wonderful focus on the intangible assets that are the people of the city and the relationships they have with their heritage and culture. We think that those who are planning for the rebirth of the tourism traveller should seriously consider how they will enable them to connect¬† and communicate with the local population. We want to avoid any possibility that tourists will price-out residents from the city centre and to prevent a build-up of resentment between locals and tourists as we’ve seen in a number of European cities in the recent past.

We have now agreed subjects for the three seminars. The 1st seminar will focus on Liverpool as a destination and we have invited 4 local personalities to share with us what they would do with a visitor to the city region for 48hrs, where they would take them, where they would stay and eat and who they would meet. Our tourist hosts are Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Ngunan Adamu, Jay Hynd and Amina Atiq. You can find out more about each of them in the YouTube videos below.

The 2nd seminar will listen to the experiences of Porto the second city of Portugal, a north-west port city like us and a UNESCO WHS too. We are thrilled to have Cllr Ricardo Valente to speak with us about how Porto has positioned itself as the destination most alert to the demands of sustainable tourism. As a politician he will be able to show how their City Council has taken a lead in delivering what many regard today as an essential aspect of any tourist offer.

The 3rd seminar will then focus on what is emerging from the capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen because they have done more than almost any other city in Europe to re-focus their tourism offer around their local realities including the residents. We hope that we will learn something really worthwhile about how we might recalibrate our approach in Liverpool involving rather than excluding local residents.¬† We have held conversations with Peter Romer Hansen CCO and Signe Jungersted CEO both Founding Partners with Group NAO . Signe was the lead designer and responsible for Wonderful Copenhagen’s 2020-strategy development which is world-leading in developing people-based growth and a localism agenda #localhood and she has agreed to be our speaker at the final seminar. We couldn’t be more excited and anyone who is even vaguely interested in the question of tourism and its impact on cities and citizens will find her insights awesome!

All the seminars this year will take place in the same location to make covid compliance easier for everyone. We are being hosted by LMA (Liverpool Media Academy) whose new base is in the Met Quarter – which will be well worth a visit for those who will join us in person. Those not yet ready to venture out or unable to get tickets can follow everything at home as each event will be live-streamed.

The dates are:

  • Seminar One Wednesday 6th October 5.30pm for 6.00pm start 7.30pm finish
  • Seminar Two Wednesday 20th October 5.30pm for 6.00pm start 7.30pm finish
  • Seminar Three Wednesday 3rd November 5.30pm for 6.00pm start 7.30pm finish

You can follow more stories about the seminars on our special 2021 Seminar Page

Enjoy some wonderful videos about Liverpool and also about our local speakers in Seminar One:

LIVERPOOL TOGETHER: Poem ‘Again’ by Pauline McAdam

THE GUIDE: This is Liverpool – The Best City in the World!