Transport body recruits visitor economy officer

Michael Hunt

Merseyside Transport Partnership has appointed Andrew Elliot to work with tourist sites across Merseyside to encourage visitors to use more environmentally-friendly travel options.

Elliot has been appointed by Merseytravel, on behalf of the Merseyside Transport Partnership, as a dedicated visitor economy officer and will be working with tourist attractions on ways to overcome issues such as car park overcapacity.

As well as using public transport, Elliot will help attractions communicate how best to reach their sites via walking or cycling, which aims to enhance the sites' existing marketing activity and potentially increase visitor numbers.

Elliot, formerly with The Mersey Partnership tourist board, aims to work with at least 50 tourism and leisure sites over the next twelve months, including Tate Liverpool, the Floral Pavilion and Liverpool Cathedral.

He said: "Encouraging visitors to consider greener travel options will result in tangible business benefits to tourist attractions, helping to tackle car park overcapacity and improving their existing marketing activity to make sites more accessible to more people.

"By working closely with tourism and leisure sites to develop dedicated visitor travel plans, we can help the environment and make it easier for everybody – regardless of whether they own a car or not – to see the best of what Merseyside has to offer. All Merseyside tourist and leisure sites – regardless of their size and location – are more than welcome to get in touch with me for free advice and ongoing support."

Elliot's role is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which is also supporting improvements to coastal and rural routes in Wirral and Sefton. In Wirral, these include work on the Bidston Hill Accessible Trail and Wirral Circular Trail and in Sefton include work on the Ainsdale Path Link and at Marshside.

Neil Scales, chair of the Merseyside Transport Partnership and chief executive of Merseytravel, added: "Capitalising on the growth in tourism, resulting from Liverpool's resounding success as 2008's European Capital of Culture, is one of the main priority areas for Merseyside's current Local Transport Plan. The creation of a specific visitor economy role is indicative of the importance of this work. I would encourage all attractions to contact Andrew for support that will both benefit the region and help secure a sustainable future for their business."

Elliot's role extends the existing work that the Merseyside Transport Partnership is doing through its TravelWise programme.

Any visitor attraction in Merseyside wishing to find out more about this free support can call Andrew Elliot on 0151 330 1549.

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