There have been huge plans to move Blackpool away from its image as a destination only for stag and hen parties and become a top family resort. New attractions including a revamped Tower and the opening of Nickelodeon Land, which features rides based on children's TV characters, have been placed to help draw in families of the young and the old.
The Creators behind Blackpool's key tourist attractions believe that the town has the prospective to develop into one of Europe's top family-friendly resorts. Merlin Entertainments, which manages Blackpool’s Sea Life centre, is assisting the council to revamp Blackpool’s Tower. It is believed that work on the tower was going so well that part of the attraction would reopen in time for this year’s illuminations.
The tower top observation platform is set to reopen, as the Blackpool Tower Eye. This platform will open on September 1st and will boast a new extended glass floor area and a 4D cinema, showing tourists a bird's eye view of Blackpool through the seasons.
Helen France, director of tourism, commented that the plans should end "old opinions" of Blackpool. She went onto explain: "We're really pushing Blackpool as a family resort. We're giving people more reasons to visit and a larger variety of things to do when they get here.
A national survey shows that a record number of people visited Blackpool in 2010. Thirteen million visitors arrived in the resort and spent £1bn, compared to 10 million visitors in 2007. The council commented that overnight stays also increased in 2010, particularly during the illuminations period from September to December. There are high hopes that these new plans will help to top that figure in 2011.
It is thought that Blackpool Football Club's recent promotion to the Premiership has also helped draw visitors to the resort. Ms France explained: "While we don't get that many visitors directly from matches, it has really boosted Blackpool's profile. The team are very good ambassadors for the town and their success means Blackpool is on national TV every week."