Marketing Lancashire has revealed that the visitor economy generated an additional £136m last year.

Blackpool, which underwent a major “brand repositioning” in 2014, accounted for the most visitors to the county. It welcomed 16.8m, generating £1.33bn in economic impact.

Led by Merlin Entertainments Group, in partnership with Blackpool Council, the town sought to put negative stereotypes behind it and appeal instead to families and young couples. It enlisted the help of Brazen, theEword and TBWA to “restore Blackpool’s innocence.”

Elsewhere in the county, Lancaster visitor numbers were up to 7.1m, while Preston increased to 6.6m.

“This growth is testament to the investment, commitment and hard work of Lancashire businesses who are constantly trying to improve the experience for visitors and deliver excellent customer service,” said Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire.

“2015 looks set to be another bumper year for tourism with several new and larger events taking place across the county.  Our ambition is to continue to raise Lancashire’s profile to attract more visitors to the destination by focusing on our key strengths; food and drink, the great outdoors and heritage and culture, which give the county its distinct character and wide appeal.”

Total visitor spend across Lancashire was £3.68bn.