Blackpool MP calls for level playing field for hoteliers in National B&B Week

Blackpool - the spiritual home of the legendary seaside landlady is celebrating National B&B week.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 8:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 9:13 am
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden with Mark and Claire Smith from Number One South Beach
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden with Mark and Claire Smith from Number One South Beach

The annual event to highlight staycations comes in the year that Blackpool topped booking site Eviivo’s league table of most popular long weekend break destinations.

And Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has highlighted this week’s celebration with a visit to one of the town’s best- known B&Bs , the Number One South Beach overlooking the iconic MirrorBall and the Solaris Centre on South Promenade.

Mr Marsden, who as well as having hundreds of B&Bs, small hotels and holiday flats in his constituency, chairs the All- Party Group for Tourism , Leisure and the Hospitality in Parliament, chatted with Number One owners Mark and Claire Smith about their hopes for the season ahead and the contribution the visitor economy makes to the town’s prosperity, drawn from the 12m people who visit every year.

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Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden with Mark and Claire Smith from Number One South Beach

He said: “B&B stays are a great British invention and institution, copied all round the world in the 21st century, and it’s great to kick off this week to promote them by visiting Claire and Mark, whom I’ve known for many years, and who have been at the heart of Blackpool tourism and raising standards over that time.

“In the Inquiry that our Parliamentary Tourism Group published last summer looking at the huge growth of the so called Sharing Economy, which includes AirBnB and other ‘gig’ economy platforms, we underlined how critical it was that the battery of checks needed on hygiene and safety for all properties visitors stay in should be done, trusted and enforced, with a level playing field so as not to disadvantage our successful, and longstanding visitor accommodation.

“That excellence and reliability is what we need in Blackpool – and I’m grateful to Claire and others for promoting it.”

In its most recent analysis of 2018 booking data from more than 6,500 UK B&Bs, Eviivo found that Blackpool was most popular for long weekends beating London into secnd place.