Family plan to win town trade

BUSINESS leaders say they expect another bumper Blackpool summer.

And that’s despite a report warning the amount of “staycations” would plummet as families cut back on days out.

Support group Family Action says standard activities are increasingly out of reach for many parents with young children and a low income.

However, Hugh Evans, of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Trade, says a lack of money will not stop people spending cash in Blackpool.

He said: “Blackpool and the attractions on the Fylde coast represent excellent value for money and I don’t think this report can be taken too seriously.

“People have been coming to Blackpool for day trips for many years and will continue to do so.

“Blackpool has brought families to the resort for years and I don’t see businesses being hit by this. I don’t know where the figures have come from, but they shouldn’t be taken seriously by businesses.”

The nationwide poll of 2,214 mothers said they were concerned about the cost of eating out and transport.

Howard Lewis, chairman of Blackpool Business Leadership Group, also said the resort will not miss out.

He added: “I don’t think any kind of report suggesting parents are struggling would surprise me, but holidays are usually what families try to have.

“People have less money to spend but there are good opportunities in Blackpool and there’s a lot going on.

“We have a bigger chance of not being impacted by this because Blackpool has a wealth of different attractions and places to stay. We should send out a message that we have a lot to be positive about on the Fylde coast.”

Helen Dent, chief executive of Family Action, said: “Families are facing summer on a shoestring with parents and children cooped up at home as a result of falling incomes and rising prices.

“We know children get a boost from days out.

“However, this year many parents are so worried that summer day trips will break the bank that they’re cutting back.”

But Iain Hawkins, head of Merlin Entertainments in Blackpool, said: “We are really concentrating on encouraging holiday makers to extend their visits from one day to a short break.”