Liverpool's programme of Capital of Culture events has won a tourism accolade for attracting a record number of visitors to the city.

Culture bosses received the Visitor Impact Award at the North West Tourism Awards at the city's St George's Hall.

Organisers said it reflected the huge effect Liverpool 08 has had on the economy in the North West.

Phil Redmond, Creative Director of the Liverpool Culture Company, was due to pick up the trophy on Wednesday night.

The event was organised by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and hosted by television personality Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

Huge success

The Capital of Culture year has boosted the local economy by ?1bn and more than 10 million visitors have flocked to Merseyside to take part in the celebrations.

The specially commissioned Gustav Klimt exhibition at Tate Liverpool has proved to be one of the most popular events.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has described Liverpool's 2008 programme as "one of the most successful" ever staged.

The England's Northwest Tourism Awards recognise excellence within the tourism industry and reward both group and individual achievement over the past year.