England residents’ perceptions of Blackpool as a holiday destination and the steady decline of tourism since the 1960s.

Talbot, S (2009) England residents’ perceptions of Blackpool as a holiday destination and the steady decline of tourism since the 1960s. [Dissertation]

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Blackpool is the United Kingdoms most popular seaside holiday destination, however
since the 1960s tourism trends in the resort have been declining. In 2005, ReBlackpool
incorporated a 15 year master plan of regeneration to try and reverse these declining
tourism trends and improve the resort.
The study aimed to identify the reasons for the decline in tourism in Blackpool since the
1960s and discover England residents’ perceptions of Blackpool as a holiday
destination. The study is important as it provides valuable information for the
ReBlackpool regeneration scheme officials, Blackpool Council and Blackpool Tourist
The research was conducted using an experimental method of distributing online
questionnaires via the Myspace social networking website. One hundred and twenty
one questionnaires were completed collecting both quantative and qualitative data.
The results show that the main reasons reducing respondents’ motivations to holiday in
Blackpool are because it has a bad image of being tacky and seedy, it is perceived as
being dirty and unclean and it is also expensive. Other respondents stated that it is also
cheaper to go overseas on holiday where a better climate is guaranteed. Other reasons
given for the decline of tourism in Blackpool were due to its poor quality sea and
beaches and also that the resort looks run down and in need of modernisation.
The results also show that current perceptions of Blackpool are more negative than
positive. Respondents also currently have a very low level of motivation to holiday in
the resort. However, once the ReBlackpool regeneration scheme is complete,
respondents believe that they will be more motivated to holiday in Blackpool and that
their perceptions of the resort will improve. This supports Bradley et al (2002) that
towns and cities which have undergone extensive regeneration end up with strong
rejuvenated images and public perceptions.
Overall, it appears that the ReBlackpool regeneration scheme currently being
implemented in Blackpool will increase tourism in the resort. Furthermore, if actions
are taken to implement some of the further suggestions of improvement to the resort
that respondents noted then tourism in Blackpool should further increase, making the
future of Blackpool as a holiday destination look very promising indeed.

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