Gordon has highlighted the start of National B & B Week 2019 with a visit to one of the town’s best- known B&Bs, the Number One South Beach overlooking the iconic Mirror Ball and the Solaris Centre on the town’s South Promenade, and run by husband and wife team, Claire and Mark Smith.

Gordon, who as well as having hundreds of B&Bs, small hotels and holiday flats in his constituency, chairs the All-Party Group for Tourism, Leisure and the Hospitality in Parliament, chatted over coffee with Mark and Claire about their hopes for the season ahead and the contribution the visitor economy makes to the town’s prosperity, drawn from the 12 million people who visit Blackpool every year.

Gordon said ‘B&B stays are a great British invention and institution, copied all round the world in the 21st century, and it’s great to kick off this week to promote them by visiting Claire and Mark, whom I’ve known for many years, and who have been at the heart of Blackpool tourism and raising standards over that time.’

‘Their 5 – star boutique guest house accommodation at Number One South Beach with whirlpool baths, local and seasonal produce at the centre of their breakfast and evening meal offerings, has garnered a sheaf of national awards from Visit England and TripAdvisor, and their enthusiasm never falters in giving people a year round experience in lovely surroundings’.

‘Leaders in the Bed & Breakfast and visitor economy in Blackpool and other holiday areas are often at the centre of encouraging innovation and regeneration in their communities – Mark and Claire are no exception. As Chair of StayBlackpool Claire is taking a proactive role in promoting our local Blackpool Approved Visitor Accommodation scheme, which is accredited with Visit England. We have a huge range and variety of B&Bs across Blackpool to suit every pocket – but what visitors to all of them need to know is that they’ve passed the ‘Legal , Safe and Clean ‘ test that the scheme’s assessors apply.’

In the Inquiry that our Parliamentary Tourism Group published last summer looking at the huge growth of the so called Sharing Economy, which includes AirBnB and other ‘gig’ economy platforms, we underlined how critical it was that the battery of checks needed on hygiene and safety for all properties visitors stay in should be done, trusted and enforced, with a level playing field so as not to disadvantage our successful, and longstanding visitor accommodation. That excellence and reliability is what we need in Blackpool – and I’m grateful to Claire and others for promoting it’

Claire added’ it’s great to have Gordon back at the Number One for a catch-up and to promote National B and B week, and we appreciate the work he’s put in over the years, both in Blackpool and nationally, to champion the role of the hospitality sector, the skills it develops and the way it supports towns like Blackpool, and right across the UK’.

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