What Beatle City had demonstrated, however, was that there was an appetite for Beatles tourism – a fact not lost on the people behind the then-burgeoning Cavern City Tours enterprise, who have been behind most major Beatle-related projects in the city for 35 years. Today, some 800,000 people a year are reported to visit sites such as the historic Cavern Quarter, home to an increasing number of Beatle-themed hang-outs. The Beatles’ legacy is reported to be worth over £80 million to Liverpool’s economy, and is said to support more than 2,300 jobs.
Even as recently as the 80s, visitors to Liverpool could have been forgiven for not realising they were in the birthplace of The Beatles. Things changed when, in 1984, a dedicated museum to the group – Beatle City – opened on Seel Street, in the city centre. That museum boasted the greatest collection of Beatles memorabilia ever brought together – the prize exhibit was the original Magical Mystery Tour bus, restored to its psychedelic glory, which offered tours of the former Fabs’ family homes, and various other places of interest in and around the city. But that museum was plagued by financial difficulties and so closed its doors for the last time after less than two years.