Resort ‘should capitalise on China tourism’

Blackpool could attract ballroom dancing fans from China

Blackpool could attract ballroom dancing fans from China

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New direct flights to China could boost Blackpool’s tourism, it is hoped.

From next June, Hainan Airlines will operate four flights a week between Manchester Airport and Beijing.

It will be the first time there has been a direct link between China and the North West.

Blackpool’s head of marketing services Philip Welsh told the council’s tourism, resources and economy scrutiny committee: “I think the recent announcement of new Chinese flights into Manchester is an opportunity for Blackpool.

“We have a product in ballroom dancing which is of great interest in China and we need to capitalise on that.”

Interest in Blackpool is also expected to increase when the Blackpool Dance Festival holds its first overseas event next August in Shanghai.

The Blackpool Dance Festival (China) will initially take place over three to five days.

But Coun Maxine Callow warned against allowing the Chinese to ‘steal’ the resort’s dance festival.

She said: “I do think we have to be careful they don’t steal our dance festival.

“It is vital we have the dance festival here – they are people with deep pockets who spend money in the town.

“We have to be very careful they don’t seduce the professional dancers with what they have to offer.”

Alan Cavill, director of place at Blackpool Council, said: “The Chinese people believe Blackpool is the centre of ballroom dance so this
can only ever be a spin-off deal, but we will keep an eye on that.”

It was revealed this week that Blackpool has had a record-breaking October half-term according to a number of visitor indicators.