Resort draws in 17 million as spending is up

Crowds gather for the Blackpool Air Show
Crowds gather for the Blackpool Air Show
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Tourism was worth £1.33bn to Blackpool’s economy last year with the resort welcoming nearly 17 million visitors.

The figures are included in the latest economic impact study revealed by Marketing Lancashire.

While visitor numbers have dropped slightly to 16.8 million in 2014, compared to 16.9 million in 2013, spending power is up from £1.3bn,

County-wide Lancashire has seen six years of continued growth in its visitor economy.

The number of stay-overs in 2014 grew by 2.3 per cent with an average stay of 3.1 nights. This helped fuel additional spending of £136m, with total spending up 3.8 per cent to £3.68bn.

Elsewhere in the county, Lancaster welcomed 7.1 million visitors last year, generating £415m economic impact and Preston welcomed 6.6 million visitors, generating £284m.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “It is encouraging to see growth continue across Lancashire particularly in visitors staying longer and spending more money.

“This growth is testament to the investment, commitment and hard work of Lancashire businesses who are constantly trying to improve the experience for visitors.

“2015 looks set to be another bumper year for tourism with several new and larger events taking place across the county.”

The figures are from the STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) model which uses data from sources including hotels, attractions and tourist information centres.

The STEAM results underline statistics from the Omnibus survey which Blackpool Council uses to measure visitor numbers, but the STEAM figures is higher because it includes children.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I am delighted to see Marketing Lancashire’s figures back up our own Omnibus survey which showed 2014 was an exceptional year.

“In addition to the Blackpool’s Back campaign, delivered in partnership with Merlin Entertainments, we also saw the revival of the West End show with a 12-week run of Mamma Mia at the Winter Gardens and a host of free events attracting visitors in their tens of thousands.

“The positive experience enjoyed by visitors last year has obviously made the right impact as we estimate 100,000 people attended our free air show last weekend.”