I AM delighted that turnaround cruises are to return to Liverpool. Our region has a fantastic maritime history, and it is great that we can use that heritage to help build our future visitor economy.
Merseyside has made great strides in recent years to improve its offer to tourists. We already have the greatest concentration of museums and art galleries outside of London and great sporting occasions like the golf, the Grand National, not to mention the football. The number of hotels has increased greatly, and Wirral’s food festivals are second to none. I’m so proud to represent all the culinary talent we have here in Wirral.
Over the water, the new arena and conference centre attracts concert goers and conference delegates from far and wide. Indeed I was pleased to welcome hundreds of friends and colleagues to our area last September for the Labour Party Conference.
People might not have taken a Merseyside mini-break in the past, but I couldn’t be prouder when so many friends told me that their experience had exceeded their expectations. They found our architecture, old and new, simply stunning. They really enjoyed our galleries, museums and night life. More importantly they found Merseysiders to be friendly, warm and welcoming.
I hope people will stay with us before and after their cruise and experience the fantastic Scouse hospitality. Most importantly, it will also mean more jobs, which are vital as unemployment reaches its highest rate since 1996.
I can’t wait to see huge liners sailing down the Mersey, knowing that it brings thousands of people to spend their money in our area.