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