Blackpool Case Study Tourism Gcse Exams

The traditional British seaside resort

The growth of tourism in the UK was largely based around coastal resorts.

Case study: Blackpool

Blackpool is an iconic tourist resort and its coastal location was the main reason for its development as a tourist resort.

Attractions include:

  • the Pleasure Beach - a theme park which is the UK's most visited tourist attraction
  • a sandy beach
  • the Blackpool Illuminations - a spectacular light show during the autumn months to prolong the tourist season
  • concerts and shows

Central Pier, Blackpool

Decline

Like many other UK coastal resorts Blackpool suffered a decline in tourist numbers. This was due to:

  • foreign travel to the Mediterranean growing in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s due to its more reliable hot weather and sandy beaches
  • the expansion of package holidays and cheaper flights
  • the growth of budget airlines and cheaper accommodation from the 1990s onwards
  • overcrowding in Blackpool and a shift in the market to late night drinking, stag and hen parties

Rejuvenation

In 2000, Blackpool launched a £300 million regeneration project. Recent projects to improve the town for visitors include:

  • Brilliance - a town centre lighting scheme which aims to encourage visitors to explore the town centre further at night and during the day
  • tourist attractions - The Big One, Sandcastle Waterpark and Winter Gardens are examples of attractions designed to regenerate Blackpool as a tourist destination
  • Houndshill Shopping Centre - redeveloped to improve shopping in the town centre
  • the beach - sea defences have been replaced with 'Spanish steps' leading down to the sea that will protect the coastline and increase public access to the seafront

Tourism is a big industry in the United Kingdom.  It happens in many locations but the specification asks you to look at EITHER a coastal location OR a National Park.  I have provided both for you so you can pick and choose!  Blackpool is an iconic tourist resort whose coastal location is the main reason for its initial development as a tourist resort.  Blackpool is the 4th largest settlement in the North West of England after Manchester, Liverpool and Warrington.  In the 2011 censes its population was registered at 142,064, a decrease of around 200 people on year 2001. 

People currently go to Blackpool for a range of reasons;

·         The Pleasure Beach is a theme park which is the UK’s most visited tourist attraction

·         The sandy beach and its piers

·         Blackpool Illuminations - a spectacular light show running since 1879 during the Autumn months to prolong the tourist season

·         Party political conferences can take place there

·         Concerts and shows happen there

Blackpool is dominated by the tourist industry. Indeed, Blackpool’s economic sectors are;

Economic sector

%

Service sector

87

Manufacturing

10

Construction & Other

3

The vast majority of activity within the service sector is tourism related, 31.4% of economically active people in 2006 worked in the distribution, hotels and restaurant sector (source).   The town caters for more visitors than any other UK resort. There are nearly 91,000 bed spaces with the majority in small guesthouses. Many of the visitors to Blackpool have limited disposable income and the jobs generated are typified by low pay and short term contracts. It is not unusual for people to hold 2 or 3 part time low paid jobs as a means of achieving a sustainable income.  The graph below shows Blackpool’s development as a resort over time and how this has changed. Blackpool fits the Butler Tourist Life cycle model well.

Tourism decline

Like many other British Holiday resorts (think Whitley Bay) Blackpool suffered a decline in tourist numbers.  This was because;

1.     Foreign travel to the Mediterranean grew in popularity in the 1960s and 70s with its more reliable hot sunny and dry weather, and sandy beaches.

2.     The expansion of package holidays and cheaper flights, plus more competing destinations

3.     The growth of budget airlines and cheaper accommodation from the 1990s onwards

4.     People are changing to self-catering and buying time shares or holiday homes abroad.

5.     Overcrowding in Blackpool and a shift in the market to late night drinking, stag and hen parties

Regeneration Projects

To combat this decline Blackpool launched a £300 million regeneration project in 2000 and launched a failed bid for a super casino.  More recent projects to improve the town for visitors include;

Brilliance – This is a fantastic town centre lighting scheme which aims to encourage visitors to explore the town centre further at night and in the day

St John’s Square This area is an important public space in the centre of Blackpool. This area has been pedestrianised and new planting, paving and lighting has been added.  This is to attract and enhance the character, appearance and atmosphere of the area. A Wave sculpture has been added and WiFi connectivity included too.

Houndshill Shopping Centre This Shopping Centre has been redeveloped to improve shopping in the town centre.

The Beach - Coastal Protection The sea defences had been damaged ion Blackpool.  They have been replaced with 'Spanish steps' leading down to the sea that will protect the coastline and increase public access to the seafront.

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