The mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, has expressed his concern at the dramatic increase in hotel prices after it was announced that Liverpool would host Eurovision 2023.
The context behind the concern in the Liverpool City Region
Liverpool was announced as the host city for Eurovision 2023 following a tightly-fought battle with Glasgow on Friday (October 7th). Immediately following this, hotels, hostels and other forms of accommodation immediately were booked up by eager Eurovision fans hoping to stay for the typical two-week period, including rehearsals and live shows.
However, some hotels and rented accommodation such as AirBnBs cancelled previously booked reservations during the two weeks leading up to the 14th of May. Instead, these lodgings were reuploaded to websites charging prices into the thousands of pounds for the Eurovision period. Some establishments even were making fans pay thousands of pounds per night to stay in the city.
As a result, some Eurovision fans have had to resort to booking accommodation in nearby cities such as Chester, Manchester and even Wrexham, in Wales.
‘I don’t want anyone to be prevented from visiting the Liverpool City Region’
Responding to the drastic price increases, the Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram said he was ‘disappointed’ to see Scouse establishment try to capitalise off the Contest.
On a post on Twitter, Mayor Rotheram offered a statement, commending Liverpool’s bid to host Eurovision. However, he went on to criticise businesses in the region who ‘jumped at the chance to grossly inflate prices’.
Mayor Rotheram also acknowledged that this is typical for big events, and understood that this is ‘how the hotel industry operates’, but urged for ‘self-control’ to prevent fans being priced out of the area. He added:
I do not want anybody to be prevented from visiting our great city region because it has been made financially restrictive.
I’ll be speaking to my political colleagues about our response and will make representations to the sector in the coming days.Mayor Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region
How to solve the problem?
There have already been suggestions for how to provide added space for the thousands of fans set to descend on Liverpool during Eurovision. Previously used schemes such as camping cities have been suggested, in a similar fashion to Kyiv’s ‘Eurocamp’ in 2005.
Additionally, suggestions were made to bring a cruise ship to the city’s iconic port. This would provide an added one hundred rooms and take the pressure off hotels and other hospitality venues in the region.
No specific plans have been made regarding the issue by the local authority.
United Kingdom’s Eurovision journey
Despite a recent slump in results, the UK is one of the most successful countries at the Eurovision Song Contest. Debuting at the second edition ever of the Contest in 1957, the United Kingdom has won the competition on five separate occasions. The most recent win for the UK was in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves, singing “Love Shine A Light”. The UK also holds the record for the number of second place finishes – currently at 16.
In 2022, the UK was represented by Sam Ryder with his song “SPACE MAN”. The performance managed to impress juries and televoters, and the UK finished in second place with 466 points, their best placing since 1998.
What do you make of Steve Rotheram’s comments? Do you think the Liverpool City Region will have enough space to accommodate Eurovision fans? Will you be coming to Liverpool for Eurovision 2023? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok as we look ahead to Eurovision 2023!
News Source: Steve Rotheram / Twitter
Photo Credit: Liverpool City Region Combined Authority