Celebrating Blackpool’s Shining Stars


It was a real pleasure to attend the Blackpool Tourism Awards last night (February 25th 2010). The glittering event took place at the DeVere Herons Reach and celebrated the very best of the resorts offering for 2009. Hosted by Coronation Street’s Sally Lindsay, the evening was a fantastic occasion to look back at the previous 12 months and celebrate all that is good about the resort.

In 2009 Blackpool hosted the Royal Variety Show, BBC Televisions Strictly Come Dancing, saw new town squares, public realm and lighting installations, held events such as fireworks, volleyball, a phenomenal air show, and dance festivals to name but a few. And what’s more, reported a 20% uplift in visits. Now that is worth celebrating…

The individual list of winners can be found here, but for me, speaking personally, there were a few stand out highlights. Those of particular merit to me were the five star Four Seasons (so delighted for Marcus and Bea), Jali restaurant, Blackpool’s best restaurant according to Trip Advisor too and The Strand Hotel which has recently seen much investment and sets a great modern standard. Well done too, to the Sandcastle Waterpark who just seem to go on winning awards for their continued team efforts and to the zoo for best visitor attraction.

However, the one stand out award for me was for Amanda Thompson who heads up the Pleasure Beach resort. The Special Recognition award was I am sure given to Amanda for her tireless passion for and promotion of the resort, continued investments at the Pleasure Beach, but also for bringing the Royal Variety Performance to the town for the first time in more than 50 years. Well done indeed. Quite rightly, in a pre recorded acceptance speech Amanda encouraged everyone involved in the tourism industry to be ambassadors for the town.

It’s nights like these when you realise that Blackpool has so much quality to offer and how proud everyone is to be involved in the visitor economy. Despite the challenges ahead and further opportunities for regeneration, Blackpool is a resort that continues to progress and with such quality product on offer the future does looks bright.

Well done to everyone who was shortlisted or won an award and well done to Visit Blackpool too, for such a successful evening.

Tim Dixon

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