Predicting the future of resort
So here we are in the last week of the season and so far, the response from people in the industry I’ve asked is that it hasn’t been a particularly good one business wise.
It is true to say that the town has benefitted very much from the half term holidays being spread over three weeks this time, one of the convenient side effects of having every school now branded an academy and therefore free to set their own term times.
This weekend, the Promenade was packed. It really was good to take a walk down the Golden Mile to see so many thousands of people enjoying what was quite a mild weekend in the sunshine. They were armed with their bags of chips and ice creams, but how many I wonder actually spent any more before jumping in the car and heading back from their day trips?
“There are plenty of people here, but they’re just not spending”, one landau driver told me. The reasons offered for this vary depending on who you speak to. Claire Smith, the President of Stay Blackpool told me she thought people were being careful with their money amid all the uncertainty over Brexit and jobs.
Now Brexit may indeed be the reason many people are looking after the pennies, and any form of uncertainty always puts the brakes on spending, it’s only natural.
Next summer, maybe the weather will be kinder, maybe the uncertainty will have gone, maybe in a post Brexit Britain, people will have rediscovered the seaside holiday because it may be too expensive to travel abroad with the family? But who knows for sure?
Uncertainty is all around and it’s bad for business planning.
So for an enlightening view of the future, whilst walking along the Promenade, who better to consult on the future than the gypsy lady in her booth.
She looks me up and down and asks me to take a seat in her sumptuous waiting area. A couple leave with smiles on their faces. Obviously they’re leaving with a good view of the future. I wonder if they’ve asked about Blackpool’s business prospects?
The gypsy lady assures me next season will be better. I told her to tell the landau driver.