Livewire - September 7, 2011

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By Sheena-Ann Brown, of Blackpool

As a qualified person in travel and tourism, and having lived here since August last year, I have had a good look around Blackpool and the varying attractions and got myself acquainted with them all.

I also live in the real world. I live in a world in recession and where the focus on Blackpool is no longer on entertaining families, but making money.

As a normal everyday person, I am stunned by the price some attractions charge, it doesn’t spell economy, it spells ‘exclusively for the rich and single’.

Together with budgeting for travel costs to get here, and B&B owners doing their best and running at prices that are crippling them – Blackpool seems to be living a daydream.

The answer to returning an economy to Blackpool isn’t grabbing money and rubbing your hands together, it’s reducing prices so more families feel welcome in the resort, and the council understands their needs.

Families aren’t going to return if their pockets are wrung out at every attraction they go to.

Especially when pockets aren’t full to start.

Residents in Blackpool also complain they can’t afford to use big facilities. Even with residents’ passes or discounts they are way above the budget of many.

There’s another side of Blackpool, just 100 yards away from the attractions, streets that look worn out and tattered.

To be blunt, as a ‘tourist’ I never noticed these, but I did notice how much, or little, money I had left at the end of a week here, and that was without using amusements arcades (the only thing many families can afford, but with nothing given in return).

Blackpool now is geared up for a new class – the casino class, with money falling out of pockets.

Blackpool Council is also turning a blind eye to falling standards. What family wants to walk up a street with barely clad young girls on a hen night? Or see sex toys in shops their kids go into for toys?

Blackpool has become known as a sleazy stag and hen paradise, for those who want to get rid of their inhibitions, and behave in a way they would be arrested for in their home towns.

Blackpool needs to clean up the place, not just physically, but morally, and entice families back in with more affordable, more welcoming family orientated entertainment and attractions. Blackpool is sleazy and over-priced – and that’s what’s wrong.