THE Clipper Race, one of the biggest round the world yacht races and one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet, has today announced a positive economic impact of over £7.5 million from its Race Start in Liverpool in August, reinforcing its strength and power as an impactful and highly inspirational global sports event.
Early research commissioned by Culture Liverpool, and conducted by North West Research and Strategy, suggests that the event has already left behind a substantial economic boost to Liverpool and has been responsible for a £7,510,000 boost and a further million pounds of visitor spending retention in the city.
Returning to the city bigger and better than ever for the first time in a decade, the Clipper Race drew some 220,000 visitors to Liverpool during the week-long schedule of festivities at Albert Dock.
Commenting on the report, Clipper Race CEO William Ward said: “The Clipper Race has developed and grown so significantly over the past 21 years and its ability to deliver such impressive economic and cultural benefits to partners, in addition to providing life changing ocean racing experience to non-professional crew, is something that I am very proud of.
“We had a fantastic time in Liverpool this year and very much look forward to returning in July next year for the finish of the 2017-18 edition.”
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is unique in that it is the only event on the planet which trains non-professional sailors to become ocean racers. Approximately 40 per cent of crew members have never sailed before they sign up. 40,000 nautical miles in length, the circumnavigation is divided into eight legs.
The event evaluation report, which monitors the impact of the major events in the cultural programme, looks at recorded activity over and above what would have been expected without the Clipper Race presence. It concludes that in 2017 alone, the Clipper Race drew a higher proportion of visitors coming from elsewhere in the country than any other recent event and attracted nearly double the number of visitors from overseas (10.4 per cent over 5.5 per cent).
The report also gained insights into motivations and key drivers for attendance, visitor expenditure, quality of experience and length of stay. It suggests that 69 per cent of respondents were visiting Liverpool specifically to attend the Clipper Race event and over a third (35.7 per cent) of visitors were on staying trips, with the average stay of three nights, an increase of 15 per cent in staying visitors in comparison to similar events.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Maritime events in Liverpool are always hugely successful, and Clipper’s Race Start was no exception.
“From the moment the vessels sailed into the city, crowds of people headed to our world heritage waterfront to see the fleet first hand, many sending the crews well-wishes for the challenge they were all facing.
“We are incredibly proud to be the host port for both the start and finish of the event, and it’s wonderful to know that it has already attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors which in-turn boosted the local economy by millions
“The city is looking forward to giving the Clipper vessels and crew another warm welcome next year as we celebrate our tenth anniversary of being European Capital of Culture.”
In addition to economic benefits, as a worldwide event the Clipper Race Start in Liverpool has further cemented the position of the city’s waterfront as a world class event stage.
The Clipper Race fleet, including the Liverpool 2018 team entry is currently racing across the Southern Ocean to Fremantle, Western Australia having already stopped in Punta del Este, Uruguay and Cape Town, South Africa.
The twelve Clipper Race teams will return to Liverpool next summer on 28 July 2018 as highlighted at World Travel Market yesterday as part of the Liverpool 2018 campaign. Before the fleet gets to Liverpool, UK, completing the 2017-18 edition of the race, it will now call into Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, Whitsundays (Australia), Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle and New York in USA, and Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland.