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06 Apr 2004

Blackpool plans to go upmarket to boost tourism

Blackpool, the seaside town famous for hosting hen and stag nights, has launched an unprecedented campaign to rid its promenade of sex toys, rude T-shirts and naughty postcards in an effort to improve its image.

Local businesses have for years raised concerns over visitor numbers and the reputation of Blackpool.

Now both the private and public sectors have united to form the new Quality Management Initiative (QMI), which aims to promote the town as a high-quality destination, attractive to families and all age groups.

The QMI was launched today (6 April) on Blackpool’s central pier, with a collection of items to be outlawed – inflatable body parts, pop-guns, knives and drug-taking equipment – being thrown into a large bin.

Lawrence James, chair of QMI, said: “Blackpool is a place where people come to have fun, but some people’s idea of a good time is off-putting to families and older people.

“We are not killjoys, but many of the items routinely on sale in the town are not appropriate for a resort which wants to welcome everyone,” he said.

The QMI covers the management of cafés, restaurants, hotels and the beach area.

Owners of establishments will be required to tidy up their shop fronts, dispose of distasteful advertising boards and to encourage staff to dress smartly.

The beach area will be divided into a number of separate zones – children will have their own play-areas while sun bathers, water sports and donkey rides will all be kept apart.

A collaboration of representatives from Blackpool promenade’s business community, local police, trading standards and Blackpool Borough Council, the QMI is part of the Blackpool Masterplan, unveiled March last year.

The Masterplan hopes to benefit from the expected liberalisation of the UK gaming laws, as it expects a host of resort casino hotels and entertainment complexes to be built. Details: www.blackpool.gov.uk


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