A FLORIDA-style resort pass could boost Blackpool’s tourism sector.
Town hall chiefs are hoping to get different attractions on board with the idea which would encourage visitors to stay longer in the town.
Merlin is proposing to offer a combination ticket for the eight attractions it will eventually operate in Blackpool.
Multi tickets for Madame Tussauds and the Sea Life Centre are already helping drive in business with visitor numbers 20 per cent higher than expected at both destinations.
Alan Cavill, the council’s assistant director for tourism and economy, said: “The principle of Merlin’s cluster is it takes longer than a day to see them and so people are going to stay more than one night.
“For the longer term, one of the things people are talking about is whether we can do this for the whole resort, a bit like they do in Florida.
“It would be difficult because there are a different companies involved but it is something people are willing to talk about.
“Merlin’s figures prove that cross-ticketing works.
“It means people are staying longer in the resort and that increases spend and helps businesses in Blackpool, which helps people get work or stay in jobs.”
Iain Hawkins, head of the Merlin cluster in Blackpool, said: “All the Merlin attractions will definitely be under a combination pass but the second option is adding on additional attractions from around the resort.
“That’s how I would like to see things develop. It is the opportunity to drive volume as a resort by all of us working together.
“It gives visitors great value for money, and the more you buy, the longer you have to be in the town so the town benefits.”
Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said a resort pass was the best way to encourage people to extend their stays.
She said: “A resort ticket would be absolutely brilliant because people could spend a day at the Pleasure Beach and a day doing the Tower, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds.
“I hope the council is able to push it through because I can’t think of anything that would be better for Blackpool.
“Not only would it encourage more overnight stays, but it would also help the restaurants, shops etc. People are used to buying tickets this way when they go to Florida for example, and it means visitors get good value for their money and can budget in advance.”
The Pleasure Beach already has its own multi ticket offer for adventure golf, ice skating and a meal voucher for £47, and has linked up with Merlin to offer some admission discounts.
A spokeswoman said: “We do have a contract with Sea Life and Madame Tussauds. Guests visiting either attraction receive a voucher for Pleasure Beach which entitles them to a free Pleasure Beach Pass or £5 off a wristbands. Guests visiting Pleasure Beach receive a voucher for £5 off admission to Sea Life and Madame Tussauds.
“Pleasure Beach are in talks with Merlin and VisitBlackpool on future joint marketing opportunities.”
John Child, manager of The Sandcastle, welcomed the idea.
He said: “I think it would be a good idea if it encouraged more people to come to Blackpool. It would be good for the operators and for visitors if there were savings.”
Visitors to Florida can buy a Go Orlando card which covers from two to seven days with admission to a variety of attractions, and claims to offer savings of up to 35 per cent compared to the cost of purchasing single tickets.