England

Skegness uses images of Blackpool and Brighton to promote resort

Blackpool Tower
Image caption One advert shows graffiti on a wall in front of Blackpool Tower

Officials in Skegness are using adverts showing unflattering images of Blackpool and Brighton in a bid to promote the resort.

The adverts, which feature the slogan "For sights you'll want to remember - visit Skegness", describe the resort as England's cultural coast.

James Gilbert, of East Lindsey District Council, said the campaign was about publicising the town's summer events.

But Claire Smith, from Stay Blackpool, said it was a "dirty tricks" campaign.

Skegness attracts more than four million visitors each year, generating £450m for the local economy.

Last year the resort was described in the Lonely Planet guide as "good family fun if you immerse yourself in the whole tacky spectacle".

Mr Gilbert said that view was 30 years out of date.

He said the latest campaign was designed to publicise Skegness as an "amazing resort" and to get publicity for an "amazing summer of events", which includes So Festival and the Olympic Torch Relay on 27 June.

"We are not trying to upset anyone - it's a bit of friendly rivalry," he said.

'Dirty tricks'

Claire Smith, who has a five star bed and breakfast in Blackpool, is president of Stay Blackpool, a guest house and hoteliers association.

She said: "It feels like a dirty tricks campaign.

Image caption Claire Smith said Skegness should focus on what it has to offer - not on other resorts

"Skegness is a lovely little place and this campaign isn't drawing me in - in fact it's making me think about Blackpool and Brighton.

"It is difficult times - Blackpool has an abundance of stuff going on all summer as well, as I am sure Brighton has, but I don't think this campaign is the way to attract visitors," she said.

Blackpool attracts about 13 million visitors each year, with plans in place for a £220m transformation of the resort's centre.

Both Skegness and Blackpool are featured in a TV advertising campaign to encourage Britons to take their holidays at home in 2012.

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