TOURISM events in Wirral boosted the local economy by more than £2m over the course of this year.
Major events such as the Food and Drink Festival at Claremont Farm and the RNLI Lifeboat Day, in Hoylake, accounted for more than half that total.
According to figures compiled by The Mersey Partnership (TMP), six major events during 2010 contributed at least £2.09m to the Wirral economy.
The Wirral Food and Drink Festival, with an attendance of 24,000, saw a boost to the local economy of £550,000, and the Hoylake Lifeboat Day is estimated to have brought in around £600,000.
Cabinet member for culture and tourism, Cllr David Elderton, said: “If we can show people what Wirral can offer, it’s bound to improve the local economy.
“We are known as the ‘leisure peninsula’ and we need to continue to promote that.”
Cllr Elderton also pointed to the boost received from the 2006 Open, which attracted thousands of spectators.
The importance of this type of event is reflected in the Wirral Golf Classic amateur event which was first held earlier this year.
Although it attracted just 200 entrants, it was estimated by TMP to have had an economic impact in Wirral of £120,000.
According to the TMP figures, other events have also played a significant role in the local economy, with the International Kite Festival, in New Brighton, attracting 22,000 people over the weekend in early summer, as well as international kite fliers. Its economic impact has been estimated at £220,000, while the Port Sunlight Summer Festival attracted 15,000 people, but boosted the economy by around £310,000.
Cllr Elderton said: “We are on the threshold of a new era, with the Government’s decision not to call in the Wirral Waters scheme. These are major events which can compete at a national level.”