Speaking at a reception at St George's Hall in Liverpool to thank the Liverpool Culture Company, Burnham said: "When Liverpool got the nomination to become Capital of Culture in 2000 some people doubted that Liverpool was 'cultured' enough to be up to it.
"But just look around the city now to see just how wrong those critics have been proved. This is a city that over the last year has delivered 7,000 events, sold one million hotel beds and been invaded by one huge mechanical spider. There's been something - and something good - for everyone."
He thanked the volunteers and the Culture Company whose "efforts have helped raise the confidence of Liverpool as a city".
According to research released by the Liverpool Culture Company, Capital of Culture 2008 generated an£800m boost to the regional economy.
The city welcomed 3.5 million first time visitors in 2008 -25% of all tourists- generating£176m in tourism spend.