JUBILANT tourism bosses are already planning next year’s Showzam! festival after the event attracted record numbers of visitors to Blackpool.
More than 30,000 thousand people enjoyed this year’s festival of circus, magic and new variety.
And the love affair with the event is set to continue with next year’s launch already in the diary for Friday, February 14 2014.
Figures released by Marketing Blackpool revealed 5,000 more people attended the festival this time round, compared to 25,000 last year.
Natalie Wyatt, managing director of Marketing Blackpool, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the success of this year’s Showzam!
“We have had record crowds where families have been able to enjoy fantastic free entertainment, there have been great crowds around the street theatre and our ticketed events have been really popular.
“There is an incredible amount of work that goes into Showzam! both in Blackpool and by the performers who travel far and wide to attend.
“It certainly seems the hard work has paid off this year and we are delighted.
“All these visitors represent a huge boost to the local economy at a time of year when you wouldn’t necessarily visit the seaside so it is great news for Blackpool as a whole.”
People travelled from as far away as the USA, Russia, Germany and Spain.
Comedy actor Christopher Biggins performed at the Pleasure Beach.
He said: “I have seen so many shows and I have met so many lovely people.
“It would be great if Blackpool could do more festivals like this because this town really does have so much to offer and I don’t think people realise just how much is going on and just how wonderful it is.”
Antony Johns, creative director for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, added: “We have enjoyed a very successful Showzam! here with more than a dozen events taking place, all of them very well attended, many of them sell outs.
“Our workshops have seen local children take part in everything from mask-making to ballroom dancing to ice skating and we hope we have inspired people to be more creative.
“We had more than 200 people attending the North West’s biggest face painting festival on Saturday and Christopher Biggins entertaining at our White Tower restaurant event.
“We are looking forward to next year’s festival already.”
However Claire Smith, president of Stay Blackpool, said the number of visitors had not necessarily been noticed by hoteliers.
She said: “It’s been a busy half term but I think it’s been more day trippers and locals.
“It’s got to have had some impact on the hotel industry but certainly not as much as we’d have liked.
“That said, it’s been extremely successful and it has fed the restaurants and cafes.”