‘Hard-up families will still visit resort’

Business leaders such as Howard Lewis (below), say families trying to save money will still visit the resort.
Business leaders such as Howard Lewis (below), say families trying to save money will still visit the resort.
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BUSINESSES are expected to be hit by a lack of visitors to the Fylde coast as families cut back on days out, a report has warned.

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

Howard Lewis

Howard Lewis

The report found parents on very low incomes and those in the squeezed middle were the most likely to stay at home during the summer holidays.

However Hugh Evans, chairman 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.”

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

Howard Lewis, chairman of Blackpool Business Group, also says the resort will not miss out this summer.

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 that children get a boost from days out – including to their educational development.

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

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.

“As well as many other offers our biggest and best is the Big ticket, one ticket allowing entry to seven amazing attractions.

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