Visitor numbers on the up

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Blackpool has seen visitor numbers increase by 300,000 during 2014, according to the latest figures revealed by resort council chiefs.

There were a total of 10.1 million adult visits in 2014.

The council says this is an increase from 9.8 million visits in 2013, although the figure for 2013 was widely reported as 10 million.

However, the number of overnight stays in hotels and B&Bs is said to be down over the Illuminations period.

On the issue of visitor numbers, Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “The latest research confirms that this has been one of the best tourism seasons for many a year.”

A breakdown of the 2014 figures shows an increase in adult visitor numbers of 600,000 for the first four months, up to 3.1 million from 2.5 million in 2013, be-tween January and April.

Between May and August numbers were up to 3.5 million compared to 3.3 million in 2013. However the final four months of the year saw a drop of 500,000 adult vis-its, down to 3.5 million from four million in 2013.

The Illuminations proved the major draw for the autumn once more, with more than one million adult visits during both September and October.

The number of overnight stays over the September to December was down 300,000 in the same period in 2013. The number of day visits was relatively static at

2.1m.

The figures are based on the UK-wide Omnibus survey based on thousands of household interviews and only count adults.

Visitor satisfaction levels in the autumn period rose to a record level of 95 per cent compared to 88 per cent in the same period in 2013.

Coun Cain added: “Much Visitor numbers break 10 million of (the rise) is due to the investment we have made in a high-quality events programme, the summer-long run of Mamma Mia!, the Illuminations and, of course, the Blackpool’s Back destination marketing campaign which has showcased the resort to thousands of new visitors.

“To show overall growth of a third of a million visits across the year, as well as a big increase in staying visitors during the peak summer season, is hugely

encouraging and a major endorsement of the investment we have made in the visitor economy.”

Earlier this month, it was confirmed the council and Merlin Entertainments would be co-funding a repeat of the ‘Blackpool’s Back’ TV advertising campaign with

an overall investment of around £700,000.

The 2015 Illuminations season will also benefit from a £2.4m investment following a successful bid to the Coastal Communities Fund.