THIS year will see the launch of the latest bid to make Wirral a key tourist attraction.
The Year of Coast and Countryside theme is intended to link events across the borough during 2012, and to mark the Olympics it already has the backing of gold medal-winning cyclist and Wirral resident Chris Boardman.
Among the attractions is a 35-mile circular walking and cycling trail, which skirts the peninsula’s coastline, also showcasing parts of Wirral’s countryside.
Chris Boardman said: “I was so pleased to be asked to help launch the Wirral Circular Trail.
“My family and I use the Wirral Way regularly, and always marvel at the spectacular scenery on our doorstep and incredible views.
“I am sure the circular trail will be just as popular. I am also looking forward to the full programme of walks, talks and other activities, and hope to get involved myself.”
The 2012 Year of Coast and Countryside is set to be launched in late January, and it is hoped events ranging from the hugely popular Food and Drink Festival, the Women’s Open at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, the Coastal Walk and the Pirate Muster which first took place in New Brighton in 2011, could be among those to fall under the umbrella of the theme.
Cabinet member for culture, Cllr Chris Meaden, said: “The council’s Destination Marketing team undertook a year-long visitor research study of Wirral and, with the support of Wirral Tourism Business Network, it will help inform our future tourism plans.
“Our objective is to increase visitor numbers and spend in Wirral through a full programme of activity that can be seen on www.visitwirral.com/coast-and-countryside.
“Wirral’s visitor economy is currently worth some £270m, employs over 4,000 people and has grown by a substantial 15% over the past five years. This study will now help us do even more for Wirral’s tourism businesses.”