The UK tourist industry is gearing up for a bonanza after huge reserves of seaside fun were discovered in and around Blackpool in the north-west of England. If fully developed the find could drastically reduce the UK’s reliance on foreign sun, sea and sex.
At a time when many other areas of the UK economy are struggling, the discovery of domestic fun times in the sun would be a welcome boost, creating thousands of jobs in hotels, restaurants, cage-fighting clubs and helter-skelter consulting firms.
Conservation groups however are alarmed that ‘Big Tourism’ will damage the local shale gas industry, which gives the area its distinctive landscape dotted with drilling rigs and abandoned drums of toxic chemicals, as well as the area’s famous flammable tap water.
“We practically invented fracking,” said Jim Fowler, 43, who has lived in the area all his life and suffers from an assortment of unidentified but chronic ailments. “Ethylbenzene, xylene, benzene … they’re like old friends,” he coughed.
Other local residents expressed surprise and even skepticism when they heard about the potential riches from the pristine sandy beaches and clear aquamarine sea with its coral reefs teaming with fish. “I’d never have thought in million years that there would be anything of value there,” said Bob Sketcher, another local with just a few precious years left to live.
“Fracking is in our blood … and quite possibly in our brains, lungs and livers too,” gasped Mr Sketcher, “I was born here, and I will most certainly die here.”