New figures released today have revealed Wirral’s visitor economy has grown for the sixth consecutive year, with the tourism in the borough now worth nearly £456 million.
Visitor economy was up by 6.9% in 2018 from the year before, with a total value of £455.83m. Over 9 million visitors came to Wirral on day trips and short breaks, showing an increase of 2.9%. The number of jobs in the visitor economy sector also grew by 3.8%, with the equivalent of 5,552 full-time workers.
Tourism was bolstered by an exciting programme of events throughout 2018, which attracted 250,000 visitors to the borough, including the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta, the Giant Spectacular and annual fireworks extravaganza River of Light.
Since 2013, the borough’s tourism economy has grown by £128million, with visitor numbers growing by 28% over that time.
The figures were revealed as part of independent research across the city region, commissioned by the Visitor Economy Team at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The announcement comes just days after it was revealed that visitor economy is now worth £4.9bn to the city region as a whole.
Paul Askew, Chair of Wirral Visitor Economy Board and Chef Patron of the The Art School Restaurant commented: “I’m delighted that we are continuing to see a year-on-year boost to our visitor economy. Wirral has a unique offering for visitors, with not only our stunning coast and countryside but also our local hospitality businesses. It’s great news that more and more people are choosing to spend their leisure time in Wirral.”
This year, Wirral is Borough of Culture for the Liverpool City Region. Events so far have included Animated Square at Hamilton Square, The Witching Hour by Periplum in Birkenhead Park, the OVO Energy Tour Series and the River Festival, which have continued to raise the profile of Wirral as a visitor destination for outstanding arts and cultural events. To date, an estimated 100,000 visitors have attended events as part of Wirral’s Borough of Culture programme.
Cllr Christine Spriggs, Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism added: “Wirral is an outstanding destination with an ever-growing tourism offer and 2018 was a remarkable year for the borough. It’s fantastic to see that this has been reflected by the number of people coming to the borough, whether it’s to visit our attractions, unwind in our wonderful open spaces or experience our spectacular events.
"Throughout 2019, we are embarking on an even more ambitious events programme which showcase the best that Wirral has to offer and we hope will help attract even more visitors to this special peninsula.”