Terracotta Warriors have brought a tourist boom

Liverpool’s Terracotta Warriors exhibition has brought a tourist boom

Famous for The Beatles, its iconic docks and two Premier League football clubs, the Merseyside city of Liverpool is a vibrant tourism hub.

The region welcomed over 62 million visitors in 2016, making it the fifth most visited destination in the UK for overseas visitors, according to research conducted by VisitLiverpool.

However, this year’s figures are set to soar even further, after Liverpool’s World Museum opened its doors to China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition in February 2018, drawing an influx of domestic and international visitors.

Director of Marketing and Communications at National Museums Liverpool, Tracy McGeagh, revealed that the exhibition had been open for a month and received over 47,500 visitors so far. They have sold 230,000 tickets until the exhibition ends on 28 October 2018.

Liverpool has seen an increase at eight museums

Since the exhibition was announced Liverpool has seen an increase at eight museums

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors has truly captured the imagination of people inside and outside Liverpool. It’s already had a huge impact on tourism, and throughout the year it will be the primary reason to visit for many visitors.

Chris Brown

Having travelled 5,000 miles, ten individually carved, life-size warriors, including a terracotta calvary horse, will be on display as part of a collection of over 180 ancient artefacts.

Dating back to 259 BC, visitors to the exhibition will be able to come face to face with Warriors as well as see exquisite objects from the Qin Han dynasty, some of which have never been seen in the UK before.

Liverpool is home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe and was welcomed just in time for Chinese New Year’s festivities, which celebrates Year of the Dog.

It also marks the 10-year anniversary since Liverpool was named European Capital of Culture in 2008.

“Liverpool was an exciting place back then”, McGeagh recalled: “There was a lot going on. It’s really gone from strength to strength.”

Terracotta Warriors have been on display

Terracotta Warriors have been on display since February in Liverpool

“Liverpool was an exciting place back then”, McGeagh recalled: “There was a lot going on. It’s really gone from strength to strength.”

Ten years on, the city has undergone great transformation, helped in part by the regeneration of the Albert Docks and shopping centre, Liverpool One.

This lasting legacy has boosted the not only the city, but the region’s profile, as a tourism destination and increased general understanding that it is a great place to visit.

David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool, commented: “The past ten years have ben an absolute triumph of culture in Liverpool, and we are overjoyed to [have marked] this milestone year with our biggest exhibition yet; one that can’t been seen anywhere else in Europe. World Museum is one of the jewels in Liverpool’s cultural crown.

“It’s been in its current location since 1860 and welcomes almost 700,000 visitors every year. The Terracotta Warriors exhibition is one of the most important exhibitions we have ever held here”.

Whilst the city has boasted great architecture, museums and galleries for many years, organisers believe the new exhibition has shun a spotlight on the city once again, drawing in an influx of local, national and international visitors.

The Terracotta Warriors exhibition is also having a knock-on effect on Liverpool’s other tourism sites, what McGeagh refers to as ‘The Terracotta Effect’.

One third of visitors are in the city to visit one of the museums and galleries, research recorded by National Museums Liverpool shows.

Since the exhibition was announced, organisers have seen an increase in visitors to all eight museums and galleries owned by the group. For example, sister museum, The Walker Art Gallery, has been 37 per increase since January.

Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors has truly captured the imagination of people inside and outside Liverpool.

“It’s already had a huge impact on tourism, and throughout the year it will be the primary reason to visit for many visitors.

“As well as this, it gives us a great boost in international profile and reaffirms our longstanding links with China. Our Liverpool 2018 programme is exceptionally ambitious, and the exhibition has got this off to the perfect start.”

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