17 February 2014

Brighton & Hove tourism defies bad weather and economic blues

Brighton & Hove’s tourism industry has continued to prosper despite bad weather and a sluggish national economy, according to latest figures.

Statistics come from Tourism South East’s Economic Impact of Tourism Study, 2012, the latest period for which such data is available.

They show the total value of tourism to the city in 2012 was around £753m, up 4.3 per cent on 2011.

While total visitor numbers were static over the period at around 8.5m, trips where visitors stayed overnight hit 1.4m, up five per cent.  Total number of visitor nights spent in the city rose by 7.5 per cent to 4.8m.

Numbers of jobs supported by tourism totalled 14,615 full-time equivalent, with over 19,000 people actually working in the sector.

Chair of the economic development and culture committee Councillor Geoffrey Bowden said:  “I’ve no doubt it’s been a difficult time for families and businesses but these figures show we have remained very successful at bringing people to the city.

“It’s testament to the quality of our tourism offer that visitors spent more money here in 2012 than they did the year before, when the nation was generally tightening its belt.  It’s likely that the Olympics helped.

“We’ll still be striving to make the place yet more attractive to visitors.  The arches being built on the seafront will really smarten the area near the West Pier, bringing new cafes and shops.  And we’re working with organisers to stage another fantastic season of large events to draw the crowds.”

Chair of the city’s newly-formed Tourism Advisory Board Glynn Jones said:     “It is vitally important that the city, in partnership with business, finds ways of investing in the seafront and also addresses the ever-changing demands of our visitors by improving and extending the range of world class and state-of-the-art attractions that we can offer. If we fail to do this existing visitors and, importantly, those thinking of visiting us for the first time, will go elsewhere where the ‘offer’ is better.”