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Business visits help Blackpool boom

Mandy Tythe-Mccallum
Mandy Tythe-Mccallum

Business is booming in Blackpool when it comes to corporate bookings according to new figures.

Research from Advantage Travel Partnership, the UK independent travel agent consortium, shows that Blackpool saw the biggest growth in UK overnight business travel with 55 per cent more room nights in 2017 compared to 2016.

Significant growth also came from other cities in the northern region of the UK, with London continuing to hit the top spot overall with a 10per cent increase (year on year) with an additional 33,000 room nights booked.

However, Blackpool saw the most growth with 55 per cent more booked room nights.

Top Ten UK Cities – Room Night Percentage Increase (year on year) for Jan-Dec 2017 were:

1. Blackpool - 55%. 2. Peterborough - 48%. Preston - 35%. 4. Bradford - 33%. 5. Oxford - 25%. 6. Sheffield - 24%. 7. Cambridge - 22%. 8. Edinburgh - 21%. 9. Doncaster – 21%. 10. Coventry - 20%.

Head of Blackpool’s Business Tourism team, Mandy Tythe-McCallum, said of the figures: “Last year we launched a campaign called Blackpool is Booming which highlighted that our business tourism offer was set to enjoy a massive uplift thanks to £500m of new investment in the resort’s business tourism infrastructure.

"These figures demonstrate how that money is translating into increased corporate occupancy.

“We also anticipate that with more new accommodation coming forward, including both four and five-star rated hotels, plus our new Conference and Exhibition Centre which will be part of the iconic Winter Gardens complex, that Blackpool will continue to boom as a destination for business travellers.

“In addition we are seeing a massive upgrade to our transport system which will make getting to, and getting around, Blackpool far easier for conference delegates.”

Blackpool’s new £25m Conference and Exhibition Centre, now taking bookings for 2019, will able to accommodate 2,000 delegates across a 6,150 square metre footprint.

Neil Armorgie, global product director at Advantage, said despite such issues as Brexit, the business world was still travelling: “The business travel hotel sector for independent travel management companies continues to grow. An increase through all four quarters of 2017 puts our overall hotel business up by nearly 385,000 room nights versus 2016.”