Huge increase in summertime Prom visitors

A sunny August afternoon on Blackpool promenade.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'16-8-2016
A sunny August afternoon on Blackpool promenade. PIC BY ROB LOCK'16-8-2016
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Footfall on Blackpool Promenade increased by more than a third last year during the height of summer according to the latest figures unveiled by tourism leaders.

A total of 955,116 people were drawn to the seafront last August – compared to 700,496 in 2015 – a rise of 36 per cent.

Between April and December 2016 footfall on the Promenade totalled just over five million.

It has risen each year since 2013 when the figure was just over 4.1 million.

But footfall figures have fallen for the town centre over the same period, from 19.8 million in 2013 to 17.7 million last year.

Figures from the council’s tourism performance report covering April to December last year, also show around one million inbound rail passengers, compared to 916,601 in 2013.

Other indicators from last year’s season are also positive including nearly 4.4 million tram passengers compared to 3.7 million in 2013.

Statistics recently released by Visit Britain also show Blackpool remains the top UK seaside destination, with 8.6 million day visits generating spending of £406m.

It is ahead of Scarborough in second place and Brighton in third place in the latest table for the average number of day visits from 2013 to 2015.

TOURISM

Philip Welsh, Head of Visitor Economy for Blackpool Council, has compiled the tourism performance report ahead of the next meeting of the tourism, economy and resources committee on February 2.

He says in the report: “By and large, the indicators show a very positive picture for the resort.

“A number of visitor economy based businesses have reported exceptional trading figures for the 2016 season.

“Some of this growth can clearly be attributed to the weakening of the pound post-Brexit and concerns over travelling into mainland 
Europe, both of which created a staycation ‘bounce’ in the UK.

“With a very strong destination marketing campaign in place, Blackpool was well positioned to take advantage of this effect.

“As can be seen from the figures released by Visit England a few weeks ago, Blackpool also continues to hold its position as the UK’s leading seaside destination for day visitors, ranked first among all seaside destinations.

“As always, the challenge for the resort is to convert a higher percentage of day visitors into staying visitors as that has far greater impact on the wider visitor economy.”

The report also includes sales of the resort pass which have increased and use of the Tourist Information Centre which has dropped slightly although more people 
have been visiting the website.

The overall figure for visitor numbers for 2016 from the national independent Omnibus survey will not be available until mid-February.