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!

Demolition 012

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

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Unsporting Life

Unsporting life

On Grand National day our thoughts turn to sporting pursuits or more accurately unsporting pursuits with the local main players being (sad to say) self -serving Evertonians.

We’re not being partisan – it’s just the way things seem to work round here.We just wonder how Liverpool fan – Wirral Council Chief Executive “Stressed Eric”  Robinson – slipped through the net?.

Firstly whilst Her Ladyship is a keen golfer and is avidly following this weekend’s Masters golf tournament in Augusta she was not dismayed to learn that the Hoylake golf resort has hit a rough patch. We understand a 100 strong meeting was held on 29th March and the meeting was overwhelmingly against removal and development of the Green Belt as a means of setting up a golf course and (more pertinently) a housing development . However as far as we can tell this opposition hasn’t been reported anywhere else. Vested interests or apathy outside of Hoylake ? – you decide.

Continuing on an unsporting theme  –  what does Wirral have in common with the judicial system?. Apparently it’s a place where life doesn’t mean life. Witness this message we’ve received about the ongoing “Passport for Life” debacle :

”  A ‘Passport for Life’ surely means a Passport for Life and I checked and yes I still have a pulse, albeit difficult to detect on occasions. An award, by definition, is a gift that should not be taken back……… I think there’s room here for a petition to demand the return of the Burgess et al golden handshakes and the reinstatement of all our long service awards.

Norman Meddle, retired Wirral worker and Unison member.”
Norman Meddle – what a great name and what a great suggestion. He also tells us he’s been in touch with local and national Unison to see whether there can be a legal challenge to this move. We don’t fancy his chances as Unison haven’t backed a winner in a long time  – but then that’s what you get for being top of the handicap when you’re an employee and a union rep. As the saying goes  you can’t ride two horses at once.
Although Mr Meddle specifically mentions former CEO Burgesski we think special consideration should be given  to additional pension contributions  for “retirement” (with absolutely no justification) to  the likes of another Wirral Council CEO  Steve ” Mad Dog” Maddox and more recently Kevin “Addled” Adderley.
But then Wirral Council’s main players  have a long-standing record of not playing  fair or by the rules . Witness this week’s non-debate of the Girtrell Court closure proposal – blaming the Wirral Globe for an allegedly misleading headline and asking opposition councillors for an apology for , er, opposing …….or the continuing  delay of the Standards Panel when they know the game is up for some of the Council’s leading (own) goal scorers.
They remind us of that spoilt kid who takes their ball away when the whistle is blown on their foul play.
LEAKY TOWERS TOPICAL GRAND NATIONAL TIPS : JUST A PAR & UNIONISTE !!