The Beatles Influence on the Tourism Industry in Liverpool
This essay will look at the influence that the Beatles have had on the tourist industry in Liverpool. It will briefly look at the cultural and musical effect that the Beatles had on the world and their contribution to the emergence and changing of popular culture. It will then discuss Liverpool’s award of the European Capital of Culture. It will assess the various tourist attractions directly connected to the group and their importance to Liverpool’s tourism industry. The Beatles were a rock group formed in 1960 in Liverpool. They were the most successful and critically acclaimed acts in popular music history (Unterberger, 2009). It could be argued that the Beatles were one of the best things to happen in the twentieth century, let alone the sixties. They were seen as being youth personified and as being unmatched innovators being bigger that Jesus and rock & roll itself. They sold more than a billion records, breaking numerous records along the way and even after the split in 1969 the Beatles carried on making history and the Beatles album of Number One hits going onto to become the best selling album of the 2000’s hitting number one in 35 different countries (RollingStone). During 1963, the monumental impact the Beatles had on the continual growth of the beat-boom and had started a musical and cultural reorganisation of the face of British pop (Chambers, 1986). Their impact on the world of fashion also had some significance, with their mop-top haircuts, Edwardian collarless suits, bright colours, floral patterns, teashade glasses, Indian shirts and sandals (Hewitt 2011). The Beatles led the way in these changing times during the 1960s with youth and rebellion in comparison to the youth of post war Britain. The 1960’s were a very important time for popular culture with MacDonald (2005) capturing it nicely stating ‘Anyone unlucky enough not to have been aged between 14 and 30 during 1966-7 will never know the excitement of those years in popular culture. A sunny optimism permeated everything and possibilities seemed limitless. Bestriding a British scene that embraced music, poetry, fashion, and film, and in which English football had recently beaten the world’. This is the time the Beatles were at their peak. Popular Culture tourism is the act of travelling to locations featured in literature, film, music, or any other form of popular entertainment (Storey, 2006). Popular destinations include Liverpool, which is especially popular with fans of the Beatles (Leonard, Strachan, 2010). Cohen (1991) states that it is difficult to characterize a city as varied as Liverpool, but sums it up through the medias eyes by stating ‘Liverpool has been a newsworthy place, a provider of headlines, a colourful backdrop to inner-city decline, scene of numerous soap operas, documentaries, and socially relevant plays. It is famous for its football teams and supporters, its rock bands and other performance arts (poets, playwrights, comedians), and for passionate politics.’ Liverpool is frequently characterized as a ‘creative city’ and was named the European Capital of Culture in 2008 by the Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell stating ‘Liverpool was the most vital, energetic bid’. Bringing the title to Liverpool is expected to increase tourist numbers visiting the city, and it in turn increase investment, create Jobs and boost the cities profile. (BBC, 2008) Mike Storey, leader of Liverpool City Council described the win as ‘like Liverpool winning the Champions League, Everton winning the double and the Beatles reforming all on the same day’. Perhaps a slight over-exaggeration but this emphasizes the point that the whole city became involved and backed the bid (BBC, 2008) during the make-over of the city centre, including the building of retail development ‘Liverpool One’, the opening of a new Beatles-themed hotel, a new performance area on the docklands and numerous projects aimed at...
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