Comedy boost to visitor numbers

Members of the public walk across the Comedy Carpet at the foot of Blackpool Tower, Blackpool
Members of the public walk across the Comedy Carpet at the foot of Blackpool Tower, Blackpool
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THE launch of the massively popular Comedy Carpet and this year’s Illuminations helped hoteliers in Blackpool record top seasonal figures for visitors staying overnight.

PKF Hotel Consultancy Services’ research showed a 5.5 per cent rise in average daily room occupancy in the resort,

Mark Sykes, partner at PKF, said: “With much of the economy seemingly struggling to keep its head above water, a steady performance from the hotel sector is undoubtedly good news.

“Although London remains the engine of growth, it is encouraging to see the industry is not overly-reliant on any single region and that growth is taking place within the north west.”

The late Indian Summer helped hoteliers in Blackpool to increase the average cost of a room by 2.7 per cent from £48.05 to £49.37.

Claire Smith, president of StayBlackpool, said the figures were borne out of a strong offering from the resort.

She added: “We had a brilliant Illuminations season and the weather was great which always helps.

“And we had a good offering of attractions in the resort, not least the opening of the Comedy Carpet which brought a lot of interest.

“I would absolutely agree with these latest figures.”

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Blackpool fared far better than Manchester which saw a minimal rise in average room occupancy and a fall in average room rate over the same period. It also outperformed Chester.

However, hoteliers have been warned problems in the Euro zone mean they will have to work even harder to maintain growth in the future.

Mr Sykes added: “Hotels cannot keep successfully battling the economic headwinds indefinitely.

“During the final quarter of the year, the industry will need to assess how best to respond to growing concerns about the health of the economy, the uncertain future of the Euro zone, and declining consumer and business confidence both at home and abroad.

“Skilful revenue management is likely to be essential if hotels are to maintain the same high level of performance that we’ve seen thus far.”

Liverpool’s hotel industry was given a massive boost by the visit of the Labour Party Conference this year.