Jubilee hopes after weekend

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BLACKPOOL’S tourism industry is looking forward to a bumper Jubilee weekend after a great May Bank Holiday for the town.

There were large crowds on the Promenade over the weekend while figures from pub bosses have showed visitors were happy to splash their cash this weekend.

Craig Southall, chairman of Blackpool PubWatch, said many venues were up by ten to 15 per cent compared to last year’s May Bank Holiday.

Mr Southall, manager of Yates’s on Market Street, added: “It was good. There was a great atmosphere and, in general, everyone’s done well.

“Against this Bank Holiday last year the pubs in our group have done 10 to 15 per cent better.”

Hotel bosses confessed this weekend had not been a “bumper” one for them but they are far from despondent.

The town enjoyed one of its best Easter periods for years, and with June’s long weekend still to come, there is hope visitors will continue to flock to the seaside.

Claire Smith, president of Stay Blackpool, said: “It has certainly not been a typical Bank Holiday weekend.

“It has come not that long after Easter, which was only a couple of weeks ago and was really good for us.

“People only have a limited amount of money to spend, and there has only been one pay day since Easter. And there’s only one more pay day before the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, when we have an extra day off.

“So unfortunately this Bank Holiday has fallen in the middle, and although it would be fab if everywhere was full we know there are reasons for it and it’s not our fault.

“We are not despondent and I don’t think it will bear any relevance to the rest of the season, it’s just fallen badly this year.”

Tourists

Iain Hawkins, head of Blackpool cluster for Merlin Entertainments, said Merlin’s new ‘big ticket’, which allows visitors to experience seven resort attractions over a three-month period, is aimed at encouraging tourists to return for short breaks.

He said: “It’s been a pretty solid weekend. Nothing to get massively excited about but we have done what we set out to achieve.

“It’s good to see the volume of people coming back into the town.

“The Jubilee weekend is going to be brilliant.

“Hopefully there will be lots of events to make it an exciting time in town.”