The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, has invited expressions of interest from host ports for the next two editions of this biennial event through to 2022. The announcement coincided with the release of the positive economic impact figures for Liverpool, the host of the start of this year’s global race in August 2017, of £7.5 million.

Returning to the city for the first time in a decade, after hosting by other UK cities including London and Southampton, the Clipper Race drew some 220,000 visitors to Liverpool during the weeklong schedule of festivities at Albert Dock. 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.

William Ward, CEO of The Clipper Race, commented: “The Clipper Race has developed and grown 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.”

Clipper Race officials have been meeting with potential candidate cities for the 2019-20 and 2021-22 editions of the event at the World Travel Market being held in London this week, to coincide with the release of invitations to submit expressions of interest to become official host ports.

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 presence of the Clipper Race. It concludes that in 2017, 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.

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. More than 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, added: “Maritime events in Liverpool are always hugely successful, and the 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 the European Capital of Culture.”

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 Clipper Race teams will return to Liverpool next summer July 28 once they have also completed the 2017-18 edition of the race calling in Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, Whitsundays (Australia), Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle and New York in USA, and Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland.

Destinations interested in the opportunity to host the Clipper Race can access initial information online at www.clipperroundtheworld.com/hostports and submit their preliminary interest via email to hostports@clipper-ventures.com