Tourist Trap

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It seems as though that the demolition of this infamous Borough Rd eyesore in Birkenhead has taken as long as the construction of the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.

You may remember an excellent report which we published earlier this year which questioned Wirral tourist figures which were being bandied about.

Tourism Awards : Wirral-style

Our knowledgeable contributor has undertaken further analysis and apparently according to the figures Wirral has the same lure for tourists as Barcelona (hence our picture and comments above).

Therefore the moral of this story is , as we’ve often said :  question everything !

Wirral Tourist Figures – Fake News?

As a rule I hate banging on about things, but, in this case I’m going to make an exception and bang on about the Wirral Tourism figures!

I apologise for the length of this item but I am truly dumbfounded that the people who are supposed to be running this Borough believe the figures.

Power Boy Pip and our very own tourism champ Tony ‘The Hoff’ Jones have both quoted the figures.

Wirral Chamber of Horrors, Wirral View, the Liverpool Echo, VisitWirral.com and various other outlets have fallen foul of the scourge of the internet age, copy and paste (ad infinitum). Nobody questions the figures because they are on the internet, therefore they must be true! Everybody believes them.

Well after contacting Lord Leaky a few months ago I got to thinking about the figures and did some deeper digging. I have come to the conclusion they are a load of spin. Should I be surprised? Probably not.

Were they used to ‘woo the Shiu’? Or are they to reinforce the case for a golf complex? Maybe they are just to say what a wonderful job the council and our esteemed Chamber of Horrors are doing in promoting this green and pleasant peninsula? Whatever the reason, they’re rubbish!

Its difficult to present the full picture succinctly so I shall use round figures and as few as possible.

Links to the documents are scattered around if you really want to read them???

The figures quoted for Wirral are:

8 Million visitors

£385m income

Over 5000 jobs

That equates to 22,000 visitors per day each spending £48 each! Do you believe that?

Lets put this into perspective. Barcelona is introducing legislation to limit tourism as they are overwhelmed. They had 8.3m tourists in 2015. (About the same as Wirral. Ha Ha Ha Ha)

Now at this point dear reader you are probably thinking ‘I’ve read this before’ but please bear with me. (You don’t need to read all the figures below, just look at the total.)

Figures from North West Research, Tourism Data Summary published July 2016.

Top Events Attendance 2015

Top Free Events

Three Queens – 1.2m

Mersey River Festival – 220,000

Transatlantic 175 – 200,000

International Music Festival – 161,000

Africa Oye – 80,000

Top Paid Events

Grand National – 142,500

Southport Air Show – 80,000

Creamfields – 70,000

Southport Flower Show – 54,000

Musical Fireworks – 35,000

Top Free Attractions

Museum of Liverpool – 747,000

Merseyside Maritime Museum – 662,000

World Museum – 658,000

Tate Liverpool – 626,000

International Slavery Museum – 460,000

Top Paid Attractions

Mersey Ferries – 607,500

Pleasure land Southport – 500,000

Beatles Story – 250,000

Haydock Racecourse – 203,000

Aintree Racecourse – 173,500

Total attendance for all these events held in the Liverpool City region 5,395,500!!!

That means more people visited Wirral than went to all of the above attractions and events (and some). Yeh!

Are you starting to see where I’m coming from with this?

The World Tourism Organization defines tourism as people “travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”

(Acronym alert!!!!)

The figures are compiled using the STEAM model, (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) by http://www.globaltourismsolutions.co.uk on behalf of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Well, I don’t know how they do things in Scarborough but it don’t work in this neck of the woods!

Their beautifully illustrated pdf is available here

And this document gives the game away. https://www.liverpoollep.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/wpid-digest-of-tourism-statistics-12-2013.pdf

Section 1.5 tells us that:

A key component of the way in which STEAM works is its definition of ‘day visitors’; this is

defined as a person travelling to a district other than that in which they live, for a non-

routine purpose, with a stay of over 3 hours. Thus, someone making a trip to Southport Pier from Liverpool could be classed as a day visitor, but not someone making a

similar trip who lived in Formby.

Now I understand. These aren’t visitors to the Wirral, they are visits within the Wirral by people who live here. Hardly tourism or even visitor numbers.

Do you now see how useless these figures are?

So there you have it. Fake news!!

http://wirralview.com/news/wirral-enjoys-fresh-boost-visitor-economy-0

And yes, I did lose my bet on The Wro winning bar of the year 2017. They weren’t even nominated so I suspect they were asked to withdraw this year to give someone else a chance!

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Sagrada Familia it ain’t – but at least it’s a start.

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Tourism Awards : Wirral-style

tourist

Whilst talking tourism we’re not talking about Wirral Council’s Head of Law Surjit Tour and his own personal philosophy here – especially when we dread to think what that might be! No – we’re talking about tourists coming to Wirral or more accurately people who find themselves lost by taking the wrong exit on to the M53!

Now don’t get us wrong there are many lovely places to visit on Wirral but judging by recent reports some parts of the peninsula are submerged in a sea of deprivation and crime . So forgive us if we’re not taken in by the announcement of yet another glittering ceremony celebrating commercial enterprises favoured by the Wirral Chamber of Commerce. Indeed, we’re left wondering where does their CEO , pouting ‘Princess’ Paula Basnett , fit all her frocks ? The way things are going Wirral Council are going to have to hand over another building at peppercorn rent so she can store them all!

As a result of this announcement yet another correspondent joins us on the road to enlightenment to give us their considered views on the matter .

We just need to declare an interest here and let you know that we turned down a nomination for Leaky Towers in the ‘Hidden Gem’ award category as frankly we try to avoid any contact with riff-raff – no matter how well dressed or well connected! Moreover we wouldn’t want our readers to think that we received an award for the same reasons as ‘The Spotty Blue Teapot’ or ‘Mere Brook House’. Just sayin’……………..

Dear Julian,
Last night I read the Wirral Globe report on the upcoming Tourism Awards. I am
sure you are familiar with this back slapping piece of crap that appears to be
sponsored by Wirral Chamber of Commerce. (Asif in the photo, poor girl having to
pose with him!)

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15066440.Nominations_now_open_for_the_Wirral_Tourism_Awards/

What intrigued me were the financial details. £385,000,000.00 per year from
8,000,000 visitors for good old Wirral.
I ‘Googled’ tourism figures for Wirral and they appear to stand up, but only in
the greater Liverpool area and I can’t decide if the figures are for Wirral or
the greater Liverpool area!
Now I am sure you have a calculator at hand so you will see that the figures
quoted from Wirral are that 21917 people per week visited Wirral spending £43.75
each. What a load off bollocks! In the words of somebody famous ‘I don’t believe
it!’
I would suggest that these figures have been compiled from footfall figures at
bars, restaurants, soon to be closed leisure centres, Tranmere Rovers and the
odd hotel that does weddings and WCC black tie nights, pubs and anywhere else
that might have somebody pop in.
If that is the case then these are not tourism figures but local people going
about their daily business.
I leave my thoughts in your capable hands and would suggest you pop down to the
bookies and put a fiver on ‘The Wro’ in West Kirby winning ‘Bar of the Year’.
Once again, keep up the good work.

P.S. Forgot to say I didn’t realise that Tony Jones is the Wirral tourism champion,ha ha!

 

Get In The Sea

 

 

The New Brighton Lifeboat Station saga continues with reports of two recent alarming incidents .

The first involved a New Brighton lifeboat tractor ending up swimming with the fishes :

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/NEWS/14908530.That_sinking_feeling__New_Brighton_lifeboat_tractor_left_underwater_as_training_exercise_goes_wrong/

The second involved two people having to swim ashore when their commercial safety boat was submerged after being hit by a wave  :

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/boat-submerged-new-brighton-after-12191836

Fortunately no one was injured  in either incident – but the fact that two people had to swim ashore without the aid of a lifeboat from New Brighton is particularly concerning.

As we’ve previously reported these incidents are set against the stormy seas of a long running dispute which saw 21 New Brighton lifeboat crew  being sacked or resigning in 12 months.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/all-at-sea/

The Facebook  group ‘Save Our Lifeboat Station’  and have produced a short video providing the background to the dispute with management (see above).

It would appear that in the light of the video and the two recent incidents the Chairman of New Brighton Lifeboat Station , Councillor Tony Jones (aka ‘Tones’) , has a few questions to answer. However he has remained as mute as Stingray siren Aqua Marina……..

 

 

All at Sea

new-brighton-lifeboat-station
Now we don’t profess to know the ins and outs of the New Brighton  Lifeboat Station dispute – although we’d be delighted to be fully appraised. Nevertheless it sounds as though it has all the characteristics of what goes on at Wirral Council – nepotism, abuse of power and behind the scenes machinations.  So it came as no surprise to us that the name of  former head of Lifeguard Service Tony Jones popped up in a post on the Save Our Lifeboat Station Facebook page that was forwarded to us .
Wirral Leaks readers will remember Tones when he was merely a prospective councillor and  was involved in an epic campaign fail by producing a leaflet that broke Electoral Commission rules. And thereby proving his suitability to be a bungling Labour councillor he was ,needless to say , duly elected.
From what we are reading about the New Brighton Lifeboat saga it is very strangely reminiscent  of Wirral Council’s Control Room debacle  , where clearly management in cahoots with councillors wanted rid of the staff and created a bogus redundancy situation to do so , getting  rid of the whole team. Similarly the team at New Brighton Lifeboat Station seem to have been got shut of  – one way or another.
As this Facebook post from October 7th explains this has potentially serious consequences  :
Once again we have to report a failure by the LOM (Lifeboat Operations Manager)  at New Brighton Station. We have been informed by a reliable source that the Atlantic 85 fast response rib is off service from 15:00 today till Sunday 19:00 hours.

That means everyone is in danger the nearest RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat is Hoylake a good 15 – 20 minutes sea journey to get to a victim. Can you hold your breath or tread water that long ?

21 sacked and resigned crew are sitting at home, fully trained and available for duty. Those at the station whom no one can touch the LOM and divisional DOM (Divisional Operations Manager) feel that you the public should be put in danger.

All because they didn’t realise that we the ex crew are a tightly packed one unit, cut one you cut us all. We have fought as hard as we can to reverse this pathetic decision, but the old boys network at the station is too strong.

We need the public help to press the RNLI to come to its senses. We would all return today if the perpetrator of the kull at the station was removed yes you the LOM shame on you and your band of bad men.

We have evidence of a plot to remove “driftwood” as they put it from the station and orchestrated a plan including shutting the station 12 months ago.

Now your donations are being used to pay hotel bills and expenses for helms from different stations around the country to give you the impression that all is back to Normal at the station.

Please help and forward to all your friends and family enough is enough…..

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=535061780019066&id=100005457464596&set=gm.998783906934458&_ft_&__tn__=%2C%3B

The post and the comments at the foot of the post are particularly revealing and sadly familiar. With references to old boys network, bad men, dictatorship , the apparent contempt for lifeboat crews and the ignoring a vote of no confidence is it any wonder with that kind of background Cllr Tony Jones fits right in at Wallasey Town Hall?.

 cllr-tony-jones