THE MAYOR of Liverpool Steve Rotheram has expressed his disappointment at the sharp increase in hotel and accommodation prices which have appeared on websites since the announcement that the city would be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
Last Friday it was announced that Liverpool would host the contest, having been shortlisted alongside Glasgow.
In the hours and days since, some individuals reported that their accommodation bookings for dates in May were being cancelled and re-advertised at inflated prices.
“Eurovision is supposed to be an occasion where everybody comes together in the name of peace, love and understanding," Mayor Rotheram said. "It is a multi-coloured, multi-cultural spectacular.
“That's why it is so disappointing to see some businesses in our region, who have jumped at the chance to grossly inflate prices – with some even cancelling existing bookings, only to re-advertise the same thing at many times the previous price.
Before the pandemic, the Liverpool City Region’s visitor economy was worth £5bn a year, welcoming 67.3m visitors, and supporting over 57,000 jobs.
During and after the pandemic, £200m of funding has been pumped into the local economy to kickstart its recovery, with much of that targeted at the visitor economy.
“Eurovision offers us the chance to electrify that nascent recovery and turn it into new growth.
"I understand how the hotel industry operates and that demand will be unprecedented - but there must be a measure of self-control to this decision.
“I've called this behaviour out several times before especially when football fans have been ripped off for flights and accommodation.
“I don’t want anybody to be prevented from visiting our great city region because it has been made financially restrictive.
“I'll be speaking to political colleagues about our response and will make representations to the sector in the coming days."
He said that the Eurovision will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make memories at an event that promises to be a special occasion for those present and for millions watching at home.
"For our area it is a fantastic chance to showcase all that is good in a great city - and beyond."