A new voice to promote town

Claire Smith of the Number One hotel Blackpool and president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool
Claire Smith of the Number One hotel Blackpool and president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool
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A NEW marketing company is set to be launched to promote Blackpool.

Council tourism chiefs are considering the move in order to draw more cash into the resort and help boost visitor numbers.

The Blackpool Marketing Company would initially be wholly owned by the council, but eventually would be transferred into private ownership.

It would cost nothing to set up because resources would be transferred from VisitBlackpool which currently looks after tourism.

Staff from VisitBlackpool would be seconded to the new set-up.

A report to the council’s executive says: “Much of the Central Government funding is now ending and so a revised strategy is needed to get the best value and impact from remaining resources.”

It adds: “A Blackpool Council wholly owned company to drive forward marketing and events has been identified as the optimum way to improve the service while ensuring the council retain influence and control over the company’s activities.”

Other destinations already have similar organisations. These include Marketing Manchester which was originally a council-owned company but is now private sector.

The aim of the Blackpool Marketing Company would be to promote the town, welcome visitors, provide information, deliver the events programme and promote business tourism.

If successful, it could eventually cover the whole Fylde coast.

Claire Smith (above), president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, welcomed the move.

She said: “The more we all work together, the better it is for the town but I think we have a long way to go before it becomes wholly private sector.

“It’s not just about attractions, it’s about the airport, accommodation and everybody working in tourism in Blackpool.

“Partnership is the way we must go if we are to make it through these difficult times. It’s not just about money, it’s about ideas and time.”

Head of VisitBlackpool Natalie Wyatt has already warned the private sector must get on board if the resort’s events programme is to be maintained in future years.

Calls have been made for private sponsors to be found for the Illuminations and for events such as the World Fireworks Championships which drawn tens of thousands of people to the town.

The recommendation to create Blackpool Marketing Company is due to go before the council’s executive on Wednesday.