According to new research from Advantage Travel Partnership, the UK’s largest independent travel agent consortium, Blackpool saw the biggest growth in UK overnight business travel with 55 per cent more room nights in 2017 compared to 2016.
Advantage’s ‘Top 250 UK Cities’ enjoyed an overall increase of 9.5 per cent in room nights booked despite the country’s economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote. Significant growth came from cities in the northern region of the UK, with London continuing to hit the top spot with a 10 per cent increase (year on year) with an additional 33,000 room nights booked.
Top Ten UK Cities – Room Night Percentage Increase (year on year) for Jan-Dec 2017
- Blackpool – 55%
- Peterborough – 48%
- Preston – 35%
- Bradford – 33%
- Oxford – 25%
- Sheffield – 24%
- Cambridge – 22%
- Edinburgh – 21%
- Doncaster – 21%
- Coventry – 20%
Mandy Tythe-McCallum, head of Blackpool’s business tourism team, commented: “Last year we launched a campaign called Blackpool is Booming which highlighted that our business tourism offer was set to enjoy a massive uplift thanks to £500m of new investment in the resort’s business tourism infrastructure. These figures demonstrate how that money is translating into increased corporate occupancy.
“We also anticipate that with more new accommodation coming forward, including both four and five-star rated hotels, plus our new Conference and Exhibition Centre which will be part of the iconic Winter Gardens complex, that Blackpool will continue to boom as a destination for business travellers. In addition we are seeing a massive upgrade to our transport system which will make getting to, and getting around, Blackpool far easier for conference delegates.”
Blackpool’s new £25m Conference and Exhibition Centre, which is now taking bookings for 2019 and beyond, will able to accommodate 2,000 delegates across 6,150sqm. It will be available to book as a standalone venue or can be integrated with the wider Winter Gardens exhibition and events venues – to which it will be directly linked – creating an overall capacity of 7,000.
*For details of the full Advantage Travel Partnership report visit https://www.advantagemembers.com/news-listing/advantage-travel-partnership-2017-hotel-report.html