Summer scorcher will see crowds flock back

Claire Smith of No 1 St Luke's Rd

Claire Smith of No 1 St Luke's Rd

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BUMPER crowds are set to flock to Blackpool as the town gears up for a scorching summer season.

New figures by travel experts suggest more middle-class households than ever this year will shun the airports in favour of a good old-fashioned British seaside holiday.

And with a host of new attractions set to open across the resort, Blackpool is poised to capitalise on the UK’s changing holiday habits.

Dave Daley, licensee at The Castle on Central Drive, reckons the town is “recession-proof” and said the night-time economy is already celebrating a cracking start to the season.

He said: “It’s fantastic, I’ve been in Blackpool through all the recessions over the years and we’re recession proof.

“We’re even seeing the benefits now, it’s already begun. We always say with Blackpool’s enjoyment factor there’s no recession in Blackpool – we’re recession free.

“Our expectations are already filled if what we’ve been doing since March 1 is anything to go by.”

The research, by travel website Experian, suggests 28 per cent of people taking holidays this year will stay in Britain.

And Claire Smith, from Stay Blackpool, said a change of destination is not the only holiday habit which has altered.

She added: “I’m certainly hoping it’s going to be a bumper season, everything is looking good for a really cracking one but until it actually happens I’m not going to get too excited.

“The next couple of weeks are a good indicator.

“Ten years ago everybody booked in advance nowadays people wait till they’ve been paid, pay the bills and if the sun shines head away.”

Blackpool’s Madame Tussauds throws open its doors on April 21 and the Pleasure Beach’s latest attraction, Nickleodeon Land, opens at the beginning of May.

Mrs Smith added: “I don’t think Blackpool could do any more. It’s all happening this summer.”

According to Experian Devon is the most popular destination for a British holiday, followed by Blackpool and Brighton.

Natalie Wyatt, head of VisitBlackpool, added: “Last weekend was really busy in town and I’m delighted businesses are reporting a good start to the season.

“I think visitors coming to Blackpool this summer will be pleasantly surprised by all the new attractions and changes which have taken place over the last year.”