Careers explored: Visitor economy

The visitor economy is a major driver of economic growth and prosperity in Liverpool City Region (LCR) and pre-pandemic was worth more than £4.2bn a year and provided over 50,000 jobs locally. 2023 is set to be an exciting year for LCR as the Eurovision Song Contest will take place at the M&S Bank Arena in May.

Last year’s winner, Ukraine, was unable to meet the demands of hosting the event due to security concerns caused by Russia’s invasion of the country. Therefore, runners up of 2022’s contest, England, will host the 67th edition of the event.

Glasgow and Liverpool made the final shortlist in the host city bidding phase and last October, Liverpool was confirmed as the successful host. The news sent hotel and Airbnb prices for dates around Eurovision soaring, with some places even cancelling existing bookings in order to make more money.

Liverpool will certainly be a hive of activity with lots of domestic and international visitors flocking to the city as there isn’t just one main event, there are nine taking place from 9 – 13 May, including two semi-finals.

A spokesperson for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “Eurovision offers a massive opportunity to showcase the Liverpool City Region visitor economy and the many varied roles on offer.

“It is a really exciting time for the sector and the Combined Authority is working with Liverpool City Council, DWP and partners across the city region to make sure that the jobs and opportunities Eurovision offers are the foundation of a sustainable and longterm future for the sector and staff and businesses within it.”

With Eurovision shining a light on Liverpool’s visitor economy, Educate takes a look at some of the career opportunities around the UK in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, and how you can access these rewarding roles.

Hotel and accommodation managers

There are over 9,000 hotels across the UK and as hotels are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, hotel manager positions are in demand as establishments often require more than one person in order to cover shift style working hours.

The role of a hotel manager is varied, and no two days are the same. You’ll find that you are accountable for budgeting and financial management and will need to plan, organise and direct all hotel services, including front-of-house (reception, concierge, and reservations), food and drink and housekeeping.

A range of skills are needed for this role and whilst having good customer service skills is important, so is having an understanding of business management.

Having a wealth of soft skills is also imperative.

Soft skills

– Initiative

– Patience

– Adaptable

– Persistence

– Determined

The two most common pathways into a managerial role include going to university. You may choose to study a hotel management degree, business management degree or a degree in travel and tourism.

Edge Hill University offer a BSc (Hons) business & management with leisure & tourism course which allows you to understand the vital role of leisure and tourism in local and national economies. As part of the degree, you can gain handson experience, and develop the required business and management skills.

Alternatively, you could embark on an apprenticeship through an advanced apprenticeship in hospitality or a higher apprenticeship in hospitality management. Current apprenticeships can be found at apply-apprenticeship.

Some of the larger hotels groups offer graduate recruitment schemes. For example, De Vere’s graduate management programme takes place over 18 months and offers graduates the chance to experience all aspects of hotel life.

Salaries for a trainee or junior hotel manager usually start at around £20,000 per year. With plenty of experience and glowing references, you could expect to earn £60,000 per year, depending on location.

Restaurant and catering managers

The UK is home to a broad range of dining establishments whether that’s restaurants, pubs or cafés. At the helm of these is a restaurant manager, or general manager, who will ensure that the eatery operates efficiently and profitably while maintaining a good reputation and ethos – after all, poor Trip Advisor reviews or negative social media posts can have a detrimental effect in today’s world!

You don’t necessarily need a university degree in order to become a manager of a restaurant, as it can be achieved by starting out through a waiting on role, or something similar. By simply demonstrating the all-important soft skills, and passion for the establishment, you can often work your way up through the ranks.

Or why not develop your management skills by taking a relevant hospitality qualification such as a Level 3 Diploma in hospitality supervision and leadership or a Level 4 Diploma in hospitality leadership.

Salaries in this line of work often start from £18,000 per year, depending on the establishment.

Conference and exhibition managers

Large scale events require precise planning and coordination in order for them to be delivered successfully. Cities and towns boast venues of different sizes and statures and with them come a highly organised conference or exhibition manager. This person oversees the smooth running and effective management of the venue, ensuring it is a profitable centre for any type of event.

The role usually means you are responsible for other departments including catering, finances, marketing, advertising and PR, reception/front of house and sales.

You can enter this industry through a university degree, such as event management. Liverpool John Moores University’s BA (Hons) event management degree could help provide the grounding needed with the chance to manage a range of different events and secure essential professional experience whilst you study.

Again, you can also work your way up to management level through on-the-job training and qualifications.

Salaries can start from £20,000 per year at an assistant manager level.

The visitor economy offers a wealth of different career pathways and within this sector there are lots of opportunities to develop your career through formal training, or moving into different roles within the company e.g., at head office. It can also provide you with the chance to see the world as your skills and experience can be applied to similar roles internationally.

Why not start gaining experience (and money!) this year and be part of this exciting moment in Liverpool’s history. Restaurants, cafes, hotels, and retailers will be looking to increase their workforce in order to cope with the influx of visitors to the city.

Start your part-time job search on websites such as Indeed or Total Jobs or go direct to a company that you feel is the right fit for you via its website. Alternatively, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, together with the European Social Fund, has launched a dedicated portal which helps local residents find employment opportunities.

A spokesperson for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority added: “Last year, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram unveiled a two-year strategy with a raft of urgent and longer-term measures to help the £5billion-a-year visitor economy return to full health. This was in response to the devastating effect of the global pandemic on the sector, which had previously supported over 55,000 jobs and generated £5bn each year.

“In October 2022, a new, all-in-one training and careers portal, complete with a new AI-powered app, was launched to connect local residents with employment and opportunities. The Be More portal forms part of a wider package of skills support including grants worth £4.5m to support 1,500 businesses and help 10,000 people.

“Young people looking to find out more about the many varied roles, progression opportunities and pathways that the sector offers can go to”

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