23 October 2013

New head of Tourism and Venues

New Head of Tourism and Venues at Brighton & Hove City Council

Howard Barden has been appointed head of Tourism & Venues at Brighton & Hove City Council with responsibility for a service that combines VisitBrighton: the city’s official leisure and tourism unit and Convention Bureau; the Brighton Centre; and Hove Centre.  He succeeds Adam Bates who is leaving the authority at the end of the year.

Howard has over 25 year’s experience in tourism and venues and has been at the Brighton Centre since 1994.  He took on the role of general manager there in 2011 and has been instrumental in bringing many high profile events to the city, including the Labour Party’s Annual Conference 2013 that took place in September.

Howard’s role will include overseeing the development and delivery of the city’s tourism strategy, the provision of visitor services and visitor information, the development of the branded destination marketing unit VisitBrighton, (www.visitbrighton.com), and the development of the city’s convention bureau to secure new meetings business for the whole city.

He will also work with the newly created Tourism Advisory Board that is being set up to help shape the city council’s tourism strategy in future.  Members of the local business community were invited to apply for a place on the board earlier this year and successful candidates will be announced at the council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee meeting in November.

Howard Barden says: “I feel very fortunate to be able to work for a city I’m truly passionate about.  As a destination, Brighton has so much going for it so it’s an easy sell for me.  There are clear advantages of working collaboratively in the city and this is something I’m keen to do.  

“While I know many local businesses already, with new responsibility for VisitBrighton, I will be spending much of the next few months getting out and about to meet more local tourism businesses to see how we can work together in promoting the best of Brighton & Hove to both leisure and business visitors.”

Andrew Mosley, general manager, the Grand Hotel, says: “Howard’s hands-on experience of the city has clear advantages and it’s terrific we’ve got someone with the talent and know how to take on this important role. I look forward to working with Howard and am confident that under his watch Brighton will continue to thrive as one of the country’s top visitor destinations”.

Adam Bates outgoing head of Tourism & Leisure adds: “I am really pleased to be passing on the baton to Howard.  He’s led his team through a variety of challenges and his understanding of the service, as well as knowing how to deliver what clients and visitors want, will be of significant benefit to the city and its venues in the future.”