Blackpool Council unveils £1m package to 'kick-start tourism' as lockdown eases
A major marketing and events programme aimed at “kick-starting” tourism in Blackpool in the wake of the devastating chaos caused by the pandemic has been planned.
£1 million will be spent, the council announced today (April 12), with tourism chief Coun Gillian Campbell saying it will help firms “enjoy a strong finish to the year” – after many traders were forced to stay shut over the lucrative Easter break for a second year running.
After deciding to extend the Lights season by two months until January 3, 2022, the council said its “package of support measures will include” a “large-scale investment in a programme of destination marketing and new events”, including “a greatly-enhanced package of Christmas entertainment and attractions to complement the extension to the Illuminations season”.
A new TV marketing campaign will also launch next year.
And a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) will be set up by July to “play a crucial role in supporting and co-funding tourism recovery plans over the next five years”.
Coun Campbell said: “The last 12 months of lockdowns and tier restrictions have had a devastating impact on our tourism and hospitality industry.
“We know that there are still some difficult months ahead and that it is going to take time for businesses to recover from the significant losses they have incurred.
“As we have already seen with the cancellation of the air show a few days ago, there is the potential for further disruption to our traditional events programme, so it is essential that we focus on creating new and compelling reasons to visit as well as showcasing our myriad of family attractions and accommodation.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to accelerate the recovery process by investing in marketing and events that will encourage people to holiday here, not just in 2021, but in future years too.”
Kate Shane, who runs entertainment giant Merlin’s resort attractions, including the Tower, added: “Over the past year, we have experienced an unprecedented public health crisis that has heavily impacted the tourism and hospitality industry.
“The priority is to rebuild visitor confidence and work together to ensure that Blackpool has the best possible chance of thriving in a post-Covid economy.
The proposed TBID would be a team effort between tourism companies, the council, Visit Blackpool, and Business In The Community. It would work like the existing Business Improvement District but focus solely on the tourism sector.
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