A new booking site for Blackpool accommodation powered by TripAdvisor is set to be launched following a stream of nightmare holidays this year.
With the staycation season that followed the lift of lockdown restrictions, Blackpool received a ‘never-ending stream’ of holiday disasters.
MP for Blackpool South, Scott Benton, urged hotels and B&Bs to get behind local accreditation in ongoing complaints about the standard of holiday accommodation on the Fylde coast.
Now, StayBlackpool has created its own booking site, powered by TripAdvisor, and is urging tourists to use it to prevent holiday disasters tarnishing the resort.
The website pre-launched yesterday and is set to go live to the public on StayBlackpool Open Day on April 7, 2022.
Ian White, Director of StayBlackpool, told LancsLive it is an “exciting big step” and whilst they’re “nowhere near the end of the journey” it will allow the team to do more with hoteliers in the resort.
Over the summer, after staying at The New Royal Windsor Hotel, one guest made a support group on Facebook that is now filled with more than 300 members sharing their stories of the hotel. Carly said she “wouldn’t even let an animal” sleep there.
Before that, The Norbreck Castle Hotel was faced with reviews from unhappy guests that had made a 2am dash, with LancsLive reporting that on an overnight stay at the venue there was a list of problems such as broken furniture and mould in the bathroom.
Even the prominent Metropole Hotel on Blackpool Promenade was described as ‘The Cecil Hotel of the UK’ after one guest found blood splatters on the wall.
Ian had previously told LancsLive that a lot of accommodation in Blackpool is “there to be abused” and believes that Booking.com, the online travel agency, is a “significant factor” in the holiday from hell stories from Blackpool this summer.
Booking.com has denied the claims, saying that it provides ‘easy access’ to transparent information about the accommodation it advertises.
More recently, guests have continued to encounter “dead flies” in their room at the Norbreck Castle Hotel.
As well as this, the owner of the Roker Hotel has defended the B&B after a couple claimed to have been “eaten alive by bed bugs” during their stay.
Several guests have cited Booking.com in their woes over Blackpool accommodation, with several accusing the site of misleading customers.
A spokesperson for Booking.com said: “As part of our aim to facilitate smooth and enjoyable travel experiences, our customer service team is available 24/7 to answer questions and support before, during or after a trip, just as we have done in this case.”
With the upcoming website launch, Ian said the new online service will work with VisitBlackpool and VisitFylde coast, advertising accommodation and businesses throughout Cleveleys, Blackpool and Lytham St Annes.
Ian said the website had the “added credibility” of being powered through TripAdvisor but it’s mostly about “hoteliers working with each other for the best and with what they’re most comfortable with. It’s not completely about the commission, we’re supporting the Fylde coast businesses with an alternative to the online travel agent.”
The site will only feature accommodation with the VisitEngland star rating or those who have been accredited through the VisitBlackpool scheme.
Ian added: “We’re taking the risk out for the public and will be going along the lines of it being trusted accommodation, rather than anything else. We’re supporting Blackpool for the right reasons.”
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