Blackpool is on course for one of its best tourism seasons ever, after a huge rise in half-term visitor numbers.
Record crowds – up 50% on last year – flocked to Blackpool Zoo during half term fortnight with bosses saying the sunnier than expected weather also played a large part in the unexpected tourist boom.
Other tourist hotspots also experienced higher than usual admissions during the holiday. The number of visitors was further boosted by the World Dance Championships, which were staged at the Winter Gardens during the half term break.
Sandcastle Waterpark saw a 10% rise in half-term visitor numbers, Blackpool’s Hotel Sheraton saw a 30% increase in turnover year-on-year, and Merlin Entertainments – which runs SEA LIFE Blackpool, Madame Tussauds Blackpool, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon and Circus, plus the Blackpool Tower Eye – reported a much higher than usual volume of visitors across each of its attractions.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We are delighted that so many people took advantage of the exceptional weather to visit Blackpool during the May half-term holiday.
“We know from the sheer volumes of people on the Promenade, on the beach and on the roads in and out of the resort that it was a hugely successful holiday period.
“Coupled with the influx of thousands of competitors and spectators for the World Dance Championships at the Winter Gardens, the whole town had a really vibrant feel.
“Hopefully, this flying start is a sign of things to come for the summer season as a whole.”