New Visitor Information Points for the City
VisitBrighton rolls out New Visitor Information Points across the City
From the beginning of October 2013, visitors to Brighton & Hove will have the option of getting their tourist information from an increased number of venues across the city. The existing single Visitor Information Centre (VIC), based at the Royal Pavilion, will close at the end of September and in its place, eight new Visitor Information Points (VIPs) will be located at:
- Brighton Centre Box Office
- Jubilee Library
- Thistle Brighton Hotel
- St Paul’s Church (West Street)
- Churchill Square Shopping Centre
- Brighton Hotel (corner of Kings Road / Bedford Square)
- The Old Market (off Western Road on Brighton / Hove border)
- Royal Pavilion Shop
These will join the two existing VIPs already operating, at Brighton Toy & Model Museum and Brighton Pier, to create an information network of ten staffed points across the city.
Staff from businesses hosting a VIP have already been trained by VisitBrighton, the city’s official tourism unit, to ensure they’re able to provide information about a range of attractions, events and facilities as well as providing a face-to-face welcome to the city. Each VIP will have branded external & internal signage to make them easily recognisable and stock leaflets and literature, including city maps, supplied by VisitBrighton.
Staff at the Brighton Centre Box Office VIP will also will be able to make over the counter accommodation bookings, sell coach and rail tickets and offer tickets to some of the city’s main attractions and events.
The changes mark the first phase of several new initiatives being introduced by VisitBrighton to create stronger partnerships between the council and businesses within the city, and reduce reliance on ever tightening local authority budgets for tourism funding. Once the VIPS and enhanced booking services are established, VisitBrighton will be progressing plans for on-street ambassadors similar to those who welcomed visitors to London during the Olympics.*
VisitBrighton already works with over 400 partner businesses to promote the city to visitors and help sustain its significant tourist economy. Over 8 million visitors a year come to the city bringing an estimated economic benefit of £700m to local shops, restaurants and retailers.
VisitBrighton provides a range of services for visitors to access information before and during their visit. Its call centre is open six days a week and deals with around 25k emails and telephone calls per year while the website had a record 230k unique visitors in July. The VisitBrighton app, launched in 2012, is proving increasing popular and has had 20k downloads to date.
Cllr Geoffrey Bowden says: “This initiative is a good example of the council and local businesses working together for the good of the city and its tourism economy.
“We already employ a combination of hi-tech and low-tech approaches to marketing the city and while we’re well aware of the increased popularity of web based information we also recognise the value of a human touch.
“We want to ensure that visitors to Brighton & Hove continue to receive a quality welcome and that this is delivered in a sustainable and efficient way, in-line with market trends and within our means.”
Daniel Reed, business manager, Best Western Brighton Hotel, adds: “I’m looking forward to the new venture, I think it presents an ideal opportunity for businesses to be involved and play their part in the success and promotion of Brighton & Hove. Visitors will never be far away from an information point wherever they are in the city and from a business point of view, it should it give us more exposure and ultimately increase footfall to our venue.”
You can download a map of the new Visitor Information Points (PDF 4.4mb)
Notes for editors
*On-street guides are not new to Brighton; in the 50s a group of smartly dressed models, known as Prommettes, regularly patrolled the seafront at weekends offering advice and answering tourists’ questions and VisitBrighton already runs a popular greeter scheme where volunteers take visitors around the city to show them their favourite places.
VisitBrighton is the official tourism unit for Brighton & Hove and is part of Brighton and Hove City Council. VisitBrighton.com was established to provide tourists with details of where to stay, what to see and where to visit during their stay.
The website offers comprehensive information on visiting the city, and also provides exclusive offers and discounted rates on attractions, entertainment and accommodation.