£130k annual boost to Blackpool's tourism and events programme

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Tourism in Blackpool is benefiting to the tune of an extra £130,000 being invested annually into marketing and events thanks to the launch of the Blackpool Tourism BID (Business Improvement District) in July 2021.

The money comes from a levy on members of the BID, which was set up after a ballot in which more than 90 per cent of businesses gave the idea the thumbs up.

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Blackpool launches a Business Improvement District to boost its tourism sector.

Sue Grindrod, managing director of Blackpool BIDs, said the levy was Blackpool’s solution to raising additional funding to invest in tourism.

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The levy is invested into tourismThe levy is invested into tourism
The levy is invested into tourism

This week it emerged some other UK destinations are considering introducing a tourist tax, with Manchester due to adopt a £1 per night, per room, tax on visitors to city centre hotels from April.

Ms Grindrod said: “The scale of the sector in Manchester is much larger so the funding raised makes the tourism tax viable.

“Considering reduced government funding and cost savings in the public sector, securing private sector funding is vital to maintain ‘business as usual’ and to continue to invest in marketing and events to drive footfall and maintain Blackpool’s status as the UK’s number one seaside destination.

“TBID adds value to the existing tourism offer and supports new events like Christmas by the Sea to provide funding to establish viable events that are sustainable and extend the tourist season.

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“The Tourism Bid levy payers voted for an organisational model which brings together the business community, both occupiers and owners and public authorities to work together for the benefit of Blackpool’s tourism sector.

“For Blackpool, the BID model is working and delivering business plan as voted for by the levy payers, made up of broad section of tourism businesses including accommodation sector.”

The Tourism BID area stretches from the Promenade between Starr Gate and Norbreck Castle, and is in addition to the long-established Town Centre BID.

It also includes Haven Marton Mere, Squires Gate Lane and Blackpool Airport, Lawsons Showground, Stanley Park and Stanley Park Golf Course , Blackpool Zoo, Model Village and Village Hotel.

In total there are approximately 262 businesses located in the TBID area.

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, has said she is not in favour of a tourist tax for Blackpool.