With packed out beaches, deckchairs, donkey rides, ice creams galore and beautiful sunsets, Blackpool has been basking in the glory of its holiday heydays after lockdown.
And proving it is still the top UK destination for tourism, B&B owners Ian and Tracey Kennedy have just had their accommodation crowned one of the “best in the world”.
The proprietors of the The Avenue Guest House in Read’s Avenue are now the proud double-title holders of Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award 2021 with an accolade in the ‘Best of the Best’ award category for the second year running.
Tracey said: “It’s very humbling especially to see such lovely reviews that have been written by our guests, more so when you have them returning.
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“It’s an amazing achievement to have this recognition, two times now and for a business we’ve had only three years.
“But actually it’s more about the boost for Blackpool and the community of B&B owners who have worked so hard - we feel very lucky to even be here after the last year.
“It’s nice to be experiencing this surge in the town and more importantly for the visitors coming in to see what a fabulous place Blackpool is and just what it has to offer.”
It’s certainly been a boom time for Blackpool.
Last year’s desolate streets have been crammed with holidaymakers for the 2021 season so far, many windows displaying ‘no vacancy signs.’
The town’s B&B business owners have been very busy behind the scenes helping to provide a key ingredient for travelling tourists - a comfortable stay.
Tracey says with the surge in the staycation market, the time is now to showcase the best of their service, especially for those who may not have visited the Fylde coast for some years.
It is view similarly held by former professional dancer Jayne Houldsworth who finally was able to hold, an official opening party of her guest house the newly-named Northdene Theatre Hotel, more than a year after taking over the eight-bedroomed premises in Gynn Avenue.
“It has just been wonderful to finally have the launch I’d planned and to share it with people who have all supported me so much and with our lovely guests.
“Although the lockdown was so difficult in many ways, I was fortunate I was able to keep working in my job with the local school and spend the time getting the place all refreshed and refurbished.
It was April 2020 whenJayne first got the keys to her new business venture.
But the national lockdown took its grip - and would not only wipe out Jayne’s summer ambitions but Blackpool’s entire hospitality trade for all the season and into the new year.
However, she said the local community of small business owners banded together in support and were determined to build back up in readiness for this summer.
She said: “The opportunity to take over the family guest house was meant to be.
“With my theatre background and Blackpool’s history in entertainment and my own’s family’s ties with the resort I wanted to create something special and so the theatre theme runs through the guest house now and I have even converted the small garden.”
And from recent reviews Jayne is feeling confident, they can all do their bit to give visitors to the resort an experience this summer.
“It’s about giving guests the time to chat, to share what you know about the town, where they can walk to, where they can visit with the family.
“It is hard work but I absolutely love it and to see people writing positive things is so wonderful.”
Jayne is also wanting to reach out to performers and travelling productions looking for accommodation.
“It’s about getting the word out and it seems to be working. I’m only registered on a couple of the booking sites but the calls are still coming in.”
Tracey, who moved with Ian from Harrogate to the resort in April 2018, adds: “One of the hard things for us at the minute is telling people we can’t accommodate them and trying to help them find a place to stay with other local B&B owners.
“We feel so very very lucky to have come out the other side after such a difficult year- we’re determined to make the most of what we have to offer, what the town has to offer.
“I take a walk down to the front and just think how beautiful it is and how much I love living here and I want all our guests to experience that too.
“It’s looking very promising right now and we really want Blackpool to get that boost it deserves.”