Anyone thinking of taking in Blackpool’s Golden Mile, followed by a stroll past the Pleasure Beach, the Blackpool Tower and the Tower Ballroom while donning a socially distanced “Kiss Me Quick” hat, think again, the town does not want you – and in typical straight-talking Lancashire style, it is quite happy to tell you so.
As the coronavirus lockdown eases, Visit Blackpool has rebranded Do Not Visit Blackpool in an effort to discourage visitors from darkening its usually open doors.
While its official website is still offering virtual tours of the town, the tourism body has changed its name on social media following the new Government guidance, which now allows people to spend more time outside for leisure, including sunbathing. Those new rules come into force today (Wednesday).
Council leader Simon Blackburn said: “There’s nothing we can do, given the Prime Minister’s advice, to stop people walking on the promenade or the beach, [but] we urge people to not visit Blackpool at the current time.
“None of the traditional attractions that you want to see will be open, you won’t be able to get the food you usually get, or do the things you can normally do.”
He added that it was unlikely that the resort would open again until July at the earliest.
A Visit Blackpool spokeswoman told the BBC that the temporary social media name-change was introduced “as a reminder to our visitors that they should stay away. We look forward to the time when we can revert back to our [original] branding”.
In fact, people living in the North-west are not welcome in any of the other tourism hotspots either – Visit Chester has changed its name to Visit Chester (Soon) and Visit Liverpool has become Visit Liverpool Later.
Coronavirus-themed ads strike a chord with consumers
Crisis-hit consumers more willing to try out new brands
‘Seismic’ shift to push online grocery market up 33%
Online stampede is a mixed shopping bag for brands
Boom or bust: Online winners and losers of Covid-19
Micro-online shops get leg-up with new Whistl scheme
Covid-19 Britain: Bakers, creators, musos and DIYers