Call for more 'big spenders' for Blackpool

Tourists on Blackpool seafront
Tourists on Blackpool seafront
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Blackpool needs to attract potential visitors  who will spend more money in the resort, a meeting of the town's tourism committee was told.

Blackpool needs to attract potential visitors who will spend more money in the resort, a meeting of the town's tourism committee was told.

Tourism performance indicators show an additional half a million people visited last year although the main boom was among day-trippers.

Surveys showed around a third of visitors are from the North West with 13 per cent from the south of England, 10 per cent from Yorkshire and six per cent from Scotland.

A third of people spend more than £300, which includes accommodation costs.

Coun Maxine Callow told a meeting of the council's tourism, economy and resources committee: "We are getting 13 per cent of visitors from the south. They are very welcome and more likely to have more money to spend when they come here as opposed to those who visit for the day.

"Everyone is welcome in Blackpool and hopefully when the conference centre opens we will get people visiting with deeper pockets."

Councillors also called for the information to be used as part of the resort's advertising strategy.

Philip Welsh, head of Visitor Economy, said the council also worked with operators including Merlin and the Pleasure Beach on advertising campaigns.

He said events such as Slimefest and last year's performance by Will Smith on the Promenade were key to boosting visitor numbers.

Mr Welsh added:"It is all about finding compelling reasons for people to come here."

Figures from the annual Omnibus Survey, a national household survey with a sample size of more than 4,000 respondents, showed there were around 540,000 additional adult visits in 2017 compared to 2016, with a total of 8.35 million adult visits.

There were just under five million day trippers, but overnight stays were down to 3.1 million compared to 3.6 million in 2016.

Attracting more people to stay overnight is seen as key to boosting the amount of money spent in the resort.