Liverpool could become the first city in the UK to establish an Accommodation Business Improvement District (BID) for its hotel and serviced apartments industry.
If city-centre accommodation businesses vote in favour of proposals this autumn, a £4.3m investment will be used to develop the district over the next five years.
There would be more than 80 hotels and apartments in the proposed BID area, which it is estimated will protect over 1,400 jobs and generate around £15m a year GVA.
The BID is designed to reduce accommodation providers' reliance on public sector investment in the face of increased operating costs and a decline in revenue per available room (revpar). Hotel trading performance in the area saw a 5.6% decrease between 2018 and 2019 despite the number of available rooms rising by an average of 6%.
There are nearly 2,000 Airbnb homes and private rooms available to rent across the city which pose a challenge to hotels and serviced apartments, according to the Liverpool BID Company.
The proposed BID would be a collaboration between Liverpool Hospitality, Liverpool BID Company and Growth Platform - Liverpool City Region Growth Company. It will aim to increase private sector investment in the local economy, while still providing a targeted approach to support the hotel and serviced apartments industry.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, who would manage the Accommodation BID, said: "As the first city to explore this option to support the visitor economy, this is a bold strategy by Liverpool that confronts the issues the hotel sector is facing head on.
"For a balanced visitor economy, and for the city centre's mixed use economy, we need to be able to attract the higher spending conferences, major events and similar that will have a beneficial impact on the city's bottom line."
Marcus Magee, co-chair of Liverpool Hospitality and general manager of Hilton Hotel Liverpool, added: "Speaking to the hotels and serviced apartments in Liverpool we know that there is a desire for change. We cannot rely on the economic models of the future, and we know that without intervention we risk Liverpool's competitiveness and buoyant visitor economy.
"Over the past five years we have explored different models and this is the one with both support and endorsement, but also works in terms of investment, confidence and long-term impact".
The ballot is to open on 29 September and, if successful, the new BID will begin on 1 December.