‘A steady start to season’

Matthew (right) and Adam Birkett in the Land of the Giants at Illuminasia.  PIC BY ROB LOCK 17-4-2014

Matthew (right) and Adam Birkett in the Land of the Giants at Illuminasia. PIC BY ROB LOCK 17-4-2014

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Blackpool’s visitor numbers have increased by 600,000 for the first four months of 2014 compared to last year, figures released today have revealed.

New attractions such as Illuminasia in the Winter Gardens helped draw in 3.1 million adult visits between January and April this year, compared to 2.5 million for the same time last year and 2.9 million in 2012.

The figures, from the UK-wide Omnibus survey based on 4,000 household interviews, showed one million people visited during April alone.

Visitor satisfaction levels also improved, from 75 per cent last year to 89 per cent this year.

However the growth has come from day trips rather then staying visits, with around one million overnight stays compared to around two million day trips.

Illuminasia was the highest visited event during the four month period.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “We have already had reports from a number of businesses across the town that 2014 has got off to a very positive start.

“The figures from the annual Omnibus survey support that.”

“It is very pleasing to see such exceptional growth at the start of a new tourism season.

“If there is a challenge, it is to convert more of these day trips into staying visitors.”

It is hoped a TV advertising campaign planned for July will help boost the figures even further.

In 2013, 10 million adults came to the resort during the whole year - down from 10.3 million the previous year.

But the autumn period from September to December, which includes the Illuminations, saw numbers rise to four million, compared to 3.7 million the previous year.

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