Strategic Context

Blackpool Tourism

Blackpool continues to retain a unique place in the nation’s imagination, its past and present inextricably linked with the tourist industry.

It is the scale, speed and ambition of Blackpool's historic development – together with the constant adaptation to meet the changing desires of demanding audiences – that has consistently served to elevate Blackpool from being a typical coastal resort. Blackpool is a true British icon, the only urban seaside resort with 150 years of heritage, the first working class holiday resort in the world and one with an unshakeable vitality.

Blackpool’s international profile as a centre for entertainment means it continues to be one of Britain’s most visited destinations. There are around 18 million visits annually to enjoy cultural and visitor attractions such as the historic Blackpool Tower and Winter Gardens conference complex; a lively events programme including the Air Show and World Fireworks Festival; theatre and art through the Grand Theatre and Grundy Art Gallery; free family fun at the Blackpool Illuminations, and heart-pumping action at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Blackpool aims to maintain a buzzing, attractive environment where business is thriving. A 21st century year-round leisure destination that appeals to everyone, from visiting conference delegates and high-spending tourists staying in the awardwinning hotels, to a younger, hipper crowd in search of a weekend away full of partying, music and fashion festivals, to families enjoying the rejuvenated promenade and attractions, museum and new-look illuminations.

Long-awaited private sector interest in all areas of the economy has emerged, with major investments in cinema, sport-related leisure, retail theme parks, food and beverage, and hotels planned to reach £500m over the next five years.

Notably, Blackpool has enjoyed £46m of private sector investment since 2011 in new rides, attractions and facilities at Blackpool Pleasure Beach from the UK’s first Nickelodeon Land to the UK’s first double launch rollercoaster, ICON; a new £28m conference centre is being built at the Winter Gardens, expanding its capacity by an additional 2,000 delegates to 7,000; and the Blackpool Central development proposes a major new high-quality leisure offer, providing year-round reasons to visit Blackpool and broadening the resort’s overall appeal.

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