A MOVE to attract a top-class hotel to Wirral has been called unsustainable by industry experts.
Regeneration officers and independent developers revealed separate plans last year to lure two four-star and one five-star hotels to the borough.
But independent consultants commissioned by the council to analyse demand found the industry was in decline.
The report comes as a blow to the council which made bringing a prestigious hotel development to Wirral a key part of its tourism strategy, hoping it would boost business tourism.
It was written after the council said it wanted to attract two large four star hotels to the borough while the developers behind the former Cammell Laird shipyard said they were also keen to attract
a five-star hotel for their site. Cllr Bob Moon, chairman of the regeneration committee, said: "It's long been known that there is a hotel shortage in Wirral, but ultimately it has to be a commercial decision.
"The golf Open is not enough to sustain a major development and, as it stands, we will need some other ideas to create this kind of market. It is disappointing."
The firm reviewed current hotel supply and demand in Wirral and projected growth over the next five years.
It found the long-term trend was one of decline and little had changed over the last five years.
Recently, the borough has also seen the closures of the Bowler Hat and Beresford Hotel in Oxton and Wellington House Hotel, New Brighton.
At the same time plans for the conversion of Thornton Manor have also failed to materialise.
The report also found that Wirral is not a strong destination for conference activity because it loses out to Liverpool and Chester.
Plans to capitalise on the golfing market would only give the industry a short term boost, it added. And the £70m proposals for New Brighton are not expected to make a significant difference.
The team found a small 4-star boutique hotel in Hoylake would be sustainable, but it would also need public funding.
But the area needs major inward investment to improve the environment and continue to develop the cultural and retail side of Birkenhead, Hoylake and West Kirby.
The report stated: "Information based on low, medium and high growth projections suggest that market conditions in Wirral would be unable to support a new nationally branded 4-star hotel over the next five years.
"By far the biggest obstacle identified within the study was where land values for alternative uses inhibit hotel development, particularly in places like Hoylake and West Kirby.
"To an extent this may now be ameliorated by the council's restraint on new housing development in West Wirral, which may release sites within the Primarily Residential Area for hotel development. Any site within the Green Belt would need to be justified by special circumstances."