How has Blackpool’s Tourism been affected by Coronavirus and what are their plans?
Blackpool is the 4th largest Settlement in the Northwest and has one of the biggest tourism sectors in the UK. 31.4% of Blackpool’s population work in the tourism sector, which is worth around 1.6 billion pounds. This in large due to the popular attractions and events at Blackpool, such as the pleasure beach, which is the UK’s most visited attraction. But the pandemic has affected the entire country, and Blackpool is sadly no different. Before the pandemic, Blackpool’s tourism sector had been growing year on year, as it had increased for a 4th consecutive year in 2019. However, the pandemic has tarnished this trend, and the sector now looks at a recovery plan that will take 3-5 years to be carried out, to get Blackpool back on track.
One of biggest and most popular attractions in Blackpool is the Pleasure beach which features 10 roller coasters. The newest of these, called “icon” is the first double launch roller coaster in the UK. Whilst like the whole of Blackpool, the Pleasure Beach has been impacted by the pandemic, it has taken steps to still operate safely.
Face masks must be worn throughout the park by both staff and visitors, and tickets can now only be purchased online, with contactless payments the only form of payment being accepted at the park. The Park also has a capped number of guests too, to ensure that no overcrowding happens, and local guidelines such as social distancing are in full swing. The Park is still a great attraction to visit in Blackpool if it is safe for you to do so, and more information on their guidelines and how to book can be found on their website.
Another popular attraction is the Sandcastle water Park. This is the largest UK indoor water park. The Park has 18 slides in an 84-degree climate. The Park has also put similar restrictions in place to the Pleasure Beach, with face masks and social distancing in place throughout the park. There are also only 3-hour sessions available to avoid overcrowding, and the park only accepts contactless payments in its café. Further information on this and how to book can also be found on their website.
In terms of the future, Blackpool has got a plan that will take 3-5 years to be completed. One of the first steps is to give the tourism industry an extra 1 million pounds to help it recover from the pandemic. The popular event Blackpool illuminations has been extended for 2 extra months to try and provide addition revenue for the area, as well as a minimum of 2 Christmas events being planned and developed.
The council is also planning on a TV programme for 2022. This is to promote Blackpool for 2022 going forwards. There is also a “know before you go” system in place, which gives visitors ways of parking via an app, and gives information about all of Blackpool’s top attractions. Other features of the recovery plan are being considered, and there is a meeting on July the 1st to see how this will be implanted in the future.
Whilst Blackpool, and the Whole country is still unsure what the future will hold, there are steps being put in place to see how the tourism sector can get back on their feet. It will be a long journey, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.