Blackpool’s tourism season off to a flying start
The UK’s favourite seaside destination has got off to a flying start in 2019 – with huge growth in visitor numbers over the first four months of the year.
The latest Omnibus household survey shows that the number of adult visits to Blackpool between January and April grew by almost 400,000 from 1.4m in 2018 to 1.8m in 2019.
The bulk of the growth was seen in February half-term and in April, when exceptional weather gave the resort one of its busiest Easter weekends on record. All of the main visitor attractions showed significant growth in April, with one reporting its highest ever visitor numbers for the period.
The number of overnight stays over the four months almost doubled – from 550,000 in 2018 to just over a million in 2019.
The survey revealed that the primary reasons for visiting the resort were the Pleasure Beach, which last year invested around £18m in the spectacular new ICON rollercoaster, the range of family-friendly attractions and the coastal location.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “It is good to see our tourism industry going into a new season on the back of some outstanding growth in visitor numbers.
“The later Easter and the exceptional weather over both Bank Holidays clearly gave a big boost, but it is encouraging that when the sun comes out Blackpool is so often the destination of choice.
“It is also great to see such positive growth in the number of overnight stays, particularly when there is so much investment being made in the accommodation sector.”
This year, the resort will again be investing heavily in marketing and events with a huge programme of entertainment throughout the year including:
- The debut of Europe’s premier civilian jet formation team at the free Blackpool Air Show weekend on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August
- The opening of the new four-star Boulevard Hotel at Pleasure Beach, the latest in a series of “next generation” hotels to be built in the resort;
- New weekend festivals at the Winter Gardens including the inaugural British Country Music Festival which will be headlined by the UK’s leading country artists, Ward Thomas;
- A year-long programme of events to celebrate the 125th birthday of two of Blackpool’s most famous heritage assets – The Blackpool Tower and the Grand Theatre;
- The return of the Livewire Festival, a four-day programme of music and entertainment over the August Bank Holiday weekend on the 20,000-capacity Tower Festival Headland with a headline performance by international singing star Ms Lauryn Hill
- Investment of almost £1m in events, guides, infrastructure and training to make Blackpool one of the country’s most accessible destinations for disabled people.
Blackpool will once again host the UK’s only Nickelodeon SLIMEFEST shows over the October half-term with the six concerts already close to selling out, and the resort will stage some of theatre-land’s best-known productions including Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, Kinky Boots, Motown The Musical, and Calendar Girls.