REVEALED: Blackpool's £1.4bn tourism boom

Tourism was worth £1.44bn to Blackpool's economy last year, new figures show.

Friday, 15th September 2017, 7:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:53 am
Livewire Festival, Blackpool. Sunday, August 27. Photo credit: Dave Nelson.

More than 18m people visited the resort in 2016 – an increase of 1m compared to the previous year, who were worth an extra £80m to the town.

The figures, revealed today in the resort’s latest economic impact study, also show the number of tourism jobs has risen by 486 to 24,435 between 2015 and 2016.

Information has been gathered using the STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) model which accesses data from sources including hotels, attractions and tourist information centres.

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Meanwhile, other indicators also suggest an upward trend with the 12-month period from June 2016 to June 2017 the busiest on record for visitors arriving by train.

Despite disruption due to electrification work, more than 1.17m inbound passenger journeys were made to Blackpool, an increase of more than 20,500 on the previous year.

Sales of the resort pass for 2016/17 are up while almost 5.2m passengers used the trams between July last year and June this year, a rise of more than 180,000.

Tourism chiefs said the figures reflected recent investment in the resort.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The growth we are experiencing in visitor numbers is very encouraging given the significant investment we are making in destination marketing and events.

“Blackpool’s tourism offer is getting progressively better and 2018 will be another landmark year in terms of new investment in new attractions, hotels and transport infrastructure.”

Coun Mark Smith, cabinet member for economic development, said attracting more visitors would also encourage more business growth in the town.

He said: “We have had recent investment by companies including Harry Ramsden’s and Las Iguanas, as well as the new Viva Diner this year.

“And hopefully there is more to come, for example with the Tower Street development where there are plans for a new cinema.

“If we have a million more people coming to Blackpool, if they spent just £1 each that would be another £1m for the economy, but clearly they are spending much more than that.”