WIRRAL’S economy was boosted by £26m during Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year in 2008.
STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) figures released by the Mersey Partnership (TMP) show the borough also saw a 12% increase in tourism during the year.
STEAM is an economic model which aims to quantify the local impact of the visitor economy.
The complexity of the calculations means that the results of STEAM are a year behind, so the results of 2008 have only just been released.
TMP chief executive Lorraine Rogers said: “These new figures not only illustrate the massive success of tourism in Liverpool in 2008, but also the importance of the industry to our local economy. It’s encouraging that our region’s districts experienced a rise in the overall value of tourism in their areas.”
The total revenue of Wirral’s tourism industry in 2008 was £235m, an increase of 12% from 2007, and a rise of 35% in the last five years.
Wirral Council leader, Cllr Steve Foulkes said: “These figures are fantastic news for Wirral and are reward for all of the hard work the council and its partners have been doing to drive forward Wirral’s tourism offer in the last five years.”
The figures are a major boost for the borough as it prepares to launch its Year of Food 2010, which will culminate in a Gourmet Food Fayre at Port Sunlight at the end of the year.
Wirral is also planning to host an international golf championship this year with 300 top amateur players trying out the borough’s best courses.
Cllr Foulkes said: “A 35% increase in tourism revenue shows we have built on the opportunity provided to us by The Open in 2006, and have developed our coast and countryside branding to capitalise on our increased profile.”
“With exciting events planned for 2010 and beyond I’m sure our tourism offer will continue to go from strength to strength.”
The number of day visitors to Wirral increased by 16% in 2008 from 2007, and the amount of money that day visitors spent increased by 17%.
The analysis of tourism found that Wirral needs to improve in terms of accommodation, as overall the expenditure in accommodation only rose by 1% in 2008.