City to be blueprint for tourism revolution.
THE coalition Government will use Liverpool as a role model for other towns and cities which want to use tourism to help regenerate themselves.
Conservative tourism minister John Penrose visited the city yesterday to meet with Merseytravel and The Mersey Partnership bosses before taking a tour of leading visitor attractions.
He said he intended to use Liverpool as an example of a city which had reinvented itself by making the most of its tourism assets.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Post, Mr Penrose said: "I want to see what works and what does not, and I am all ears. I am in the process of delivering a tourism strategy for the new Government and one of the things I vowed to do was look at places which got it right and sample one or two others which have not, so they can plagiarise from those which do.
"There will be things we can use and copy as a template, but there will be things peculiar to Liverpool which will not work elsewhere. I thought we should still come and hear it from the horse's mouth."
Responding to questions about whether the arts and tourism sector could suffer at the hands of Government cuts, Mr Penrose said: "People often forget tourism is the sixth biggest sector of the economy.
For some parts of the country, it is really vital for regeneration and growth, and I think we can use culture and tourism here as a shining example."
your EMAIL @dailypost.or write 48, Old Liverpool On Monday, Prime Minister David Cameron was in Liverpool to launch his "Big Society" pledge, in which community groups, arts groups, museums and social enterprises will be given the chance to run projects without the interference of bureaucrats.
Liverpool culture supremo Phil Redmond will lead one project, using volunteers to keep the city's museums open later at night.
Asked if the Big Society idea would overlap with the planned growth of the tourism sector, Mr Penrose said it was true organisations would have to "do more with less". He added: "We have to do this in partnership with tourism employers rather than having someone travelling up from Whitehall."
Pam Wilshire, of The Mersey Partnership, welcomed Mr Penrose's visit, and said she believed the tourism sector was in good health. She added: "I think there will inevitably be cutbacks and the private sector will be required to fund more of the activities than they have in the past."
views at letters co.uk, to PO Box Street, L69 3EB Merseytravel chief executive Neil Scales added Merseyside's tourism assets alone contributed pounds 34m to the regional economy last year and secured 742 jobs.
Cllr Wendy Simon, Liverpool Council's cabinet member for culture, said: "It is all very well to be saying this on the one hand, and on the other making cuts to the funding of the organisations which support tourism here."
* OPINION: Page 15; * BILL GLEESON - LDP Business: Page 8
Minister for tourism and heritage John Penrose visiting the Pier Head, in Liverpool, yesterday, to see at first hand what the city has to offer tourists Picture: PAUL HEAPS/ ph200710dminister-3