Lonely Planet Writer

Blackpool outscores Maldives as a seaside resort for British holidaymakers

It used to be the great British holiday destination of yesteryear… but now Blackpool is making a comeback following major investment and improvements to the historic seaside resort.

Blackpool beach is preferred by Britons to the Maldives.
Blackpool beach is preferred by Britons to the Maldives. Image by Harry (Howard) Potts / CC BY 2.0

Hotel bookings have shot through the roof – up 72% these past months compared to where it languished in 2010.

The MailOnline reports that  visitor numbers have soared to their highest levels in almost 20 years thanks to the campaign to revitalise the seafront and town centre.

The famous Blackpool North Pier.
The famous Blackpool North Pier. Image by Gidzy / CC BY 2.0

A spokesperson for LateRooms.com, Andrea Tarpey said she believed that the massive hike in hotel bookings showed that people were ‘rediscovering their love of the British seaside’.

Her comment comes at a time when a survey revealed that most British residents would prefer to visit Blackpool beach ahead of the golden shores of the Maldives.

The iconic Blackpool Tower and pier
The iconic Blackpool Tower and pier Image by Jeff Holt / CC BY 2.0

The town – famous for its illuminations, kiss-me-quick hats and pleasure beach – had steadily declined since the halcyon days of the 80s when it was at its most popular with some 20 million visiting annually.

By cleaning up its act, local authorities hope the allure of former days can return in large measure.

One family who believes in the area have just sunk £2 million into the Sheraton on North Shore.

Hotelier Jane Seddon said they have invested the vast sum because “we see a future.”

This summer there’s been a different feel about the town.

And there is an optimism that the 10 million figure who holidayed last year will be surpassed with local tourism chiefs championing Blackpool as a place for families to stay in.

The other great attraction – the renowned illuminations have also undergone a massive financial injection and the lights will be switched on early next month by film director Tim Burton.