Tourism Chiefs bid to clean up Blackpool

By Alan Lodge

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Seaside resort, Blackpool

Efforts underway to ensure all hotels in the seaside town hold the correct licence as fears grow over shabby hotels dragging down Blackpools reputation.

A BID to rid Blackpool of shabby hotels which bring down the area`s reputation has been launched by tourism champion StayBlackpool.

The quest for higher standards in the seaside resort forms the cornerstone of StayBlackpool`s petition for compulsory licences to be put in place for accommodation providers in the town.

The plea was issued at the hotel association`s post-season open day held at the Savoy Hotel.

StayBlackpool recently merged with Blackpool Premier Hotel Association, meaning the company has more than 400 accommodation providers as recognised members.

The event, which is held twice a year, brought together a number of organisations such as the fire brigade, the Tourism Support Bureau, health and safety advisers as well as insurance experts, so hoteliers could benefit from a one-stop shop for business advice.

Jacqui Morris, secretary for StayBlackpool, said: "The petition is asking the council for a commitment to move the licensing scheme forward.

"It has been discussed in the past and we know that some councillors support the idea, but it has disappeared from the agenda.

"It`s a scheme that has been identified as the solution to many problems and a way of removing those hotels with quality issues which give Blackpool a bad name.

"If visitors come to Blackpool and stay in poorly-run premises, they take their bad experience home with them and the word spreads among their friends. The licence would ensure that standards are checked and safeguarded."

If the scheme came to fruition, it would mean all would-be hoteliers would need a council-approved licence before they could operate.

More than 30 signatures were collected in one day alone as StayBlackpool prepares to present the petition to Blackpool Council next year.

The scheme was given the thumbs-up by a raft of local hoteliers.

Mick Grewcock, who owns the Burbage Holiday Lodge and the Queen`s Mansions Holiday Apartments, both on Queens Promenade, said: "I fully support the licensing scheme and have signed the petition.

"I think licences would rid the resort of the bad operators who unfortunately give us all a bad name.

"We need quality in Blackpool in everything we do."

Some other hoteliers were a little more reluctant to sign up to the scheme. John Hogan, of the New Phildene Hotel on St Chads Road, South Shore, said: "Our feelings on the scheme are mixed.

"It`s a good idea in theory, but my business partner and I are concerned it will add another layer of bureaucracy.

"When the licensing laws changed for alcohol, the fees increased three-fold and this seems like yet another expense.

"There are already fire, safety and hygiene regulations in place that hoteliers should adhere to.

"If traders aren`t going to follow those already in place, why should they bother with the licence?"

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