Blackpool hotel owners were making hay this May

Hollywood star Samuel L Jackson out and about in Lytham amid filming in Blackpool
Hollywood star Samuel L Jackson out and about in Lytham amid filming in Blackpool
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Blackpool hoteliers had a brilliant May despite the chilly weather, according to an accountants’ survey.

The resort topped the room occupancy charts beating even London.

The volume of customers was put down by the report to a big health conference and the Red Arrows display for the opening of the new ride at the Pleasure Beach.

But hoteliers in Blackpool warned that the sky high figures were to do with several events coinciding and that June’s figures were likely to be down.

The report from BDO LLP said Blackpool hotels outperformed London and the regions in May, with the highest increase in occupancy levels and rooms revenue.

It said with two bank holiday weekends and marked increases in domestic tourism, Blackpool saw occupancy levels hit 75.4 per cent.

This was up 13.6 per cent on the same period last year and is the biggest increase in occupancy across the UK.

Revenue per room also jumped to 21.7 per cent compared with May 2014. London hotels, by comparison, saw occupancy levels and room yield rise by just 0.7 and two per cent respectively.

BDO credits the rise in demand from the HefmA National Conference at the Blackpool Hilton and the RAF Red Arrows event.

Phil Storer, a partner at BDO LLP in the North West said: “The leisure industry is going from strength to strength as the economy improves, and it’s fantastic that Blackpool is leading the way.

“This is an incredibly positive sign and hoteliers should bear in mind that the new post-recession economy is consumer-led. The saying ‘make hay while the sun shines’ is very appropriate.”

Claire Smith, chairman of hoteliers group Stay Blackpool, agreed it was a busy May – but said it was due to unusual circumstances.

She said: “The town did have a storming May which was great for all, but we know exactly why and it was a little bit of a blip!

“We always have the World Dance Championships in May which is the largest of the dance festivals and always huge for the town.

“Add to that the filming of Away with Timothy Spall which lasted three weeks and brought a good number of hotel and apartment stays, followed by Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, again three weeks with up to 260 cast and crew staying in the area.

“All this culminated in an amazing May for not only the accommodation providers but bars and restaurants too!

“This report is actually misleading because it gives the impression we’re having a fab old time but if you ask anyone in town about June then it has probably been the worst in a number of years.”