Sara Wilde McKeown, the MD of Paver Smith and former commercial managing director of Trinity Mirror Regionals has taken on a new role as chair of Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy Board.

The newly formed body has been set up to replace the Visitor Economy Committee and acts as the region’s official tourist board.

“The people, businesses and attractions that form our destination offer are among the most successful parts of the City Region’s economy. The Visitor Economy Board must make sure further opportunities for growth are identified and that the sector carries on delivering a unique visitor experience,” she said.

“Liverpool is one of the most powerful city brands in the world and lies at the centre of a region offering unique and unrivalled appeal to visitors from across the globe. We have a great foundation to build on and I am excited to be able to help take this important sector forward. It’s now time for private sector businesses to take the lead in shaping our future visitor economy.”

According to new data independently sourced by the Local Enterprise Partnership, the tourism sector is worth £3.4bn to the local economy, attracting 56m visitors and supporting 46k jobs.

“The depth, diversity and wealth of Sara’s experience in a customer-facing industry will be a very valuable asset for our Visitor Economy.  The sector has delivered strong performance based on its appeal to visitors from all over the world, the huge investments made by its businesses and the sheer hard work of those driving it forward. It is the job of the Visitor Economy Board to ensure the momentum is maintained and the growth continues. Sara is well-placed and very well-experienced to do that,” added Robert Hough, chair of the LEP.