VisitBrighton Celebrates 500th Business Partner

 VisitBrighton, the city council’s tourism arm celebrated signing up its 500th Partner business at a networking event held at seafront restaurant Alfresco yesterday, Thursday 16 July 2015.

Rendezvous Café, a new café and art gallery on Duke St, is run by couple Ivan Dong and Shawn Zhang from China who came to Brighton & Hove for an afternoon in October 2012 and fell so much in love with the city decided to open a business here.

Rendezvous café owner Ivan said: “Brighton is such a vibrant and fascinating city, we were completely bowled over by the warmth of the people we met. It draws such an interesting mix of visitors and residents that we instantly felt at home and didn’t want to leave.

“We’re delighted to be joining VisitBrighton as the 500th business Partner. As a new business our budgets are tight, so it’s great that the partnership scheme offers a collection of distinct benefits for a relatively small single fee.”

The VisitBrighton Partnership scheme has been in operation since 2005 and offers a range of benefits to businesses that pay a yearly subscription fee dependent on the size and type of business. Benefits include PR and marketing support, a dedicated page on the VisitBrighton website - which last year drew in over 2 million unique users - a listing on the VisitBrighton mobile app and official printed city map, as well as invitations to networking events and launches throughout the year.

Attendees of the latest networking event were welcomed by VisitBrighton’s Marketing Manager, John Carmichael and had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Brighton i360 site. Guests also heard from Tim Wainwright, Community Liaison Officer from England 2015, about the opportunities for local businesses arising from the Rugby World Cup games being hosted in the city in September.

Alan Robins, Lead Member for Tourism, said “Despite the challenging trading conditions, particularly the UK Pound / Euro exchange rates, Brighton & Hove is still performing well in tourism terms. The city has seen a rise in the number of overseas staying visitors for the fifth consecutive year, making Brighton & Hove the most popular UK seaside destination for international tourists.”

VisitBrighton works to promote the whole city and surrounding area as a visitor destination, both nationally and internationally, and its Partnership scheme costs from as little as £120 per year. All Partnership money is re-invested back into marketing Brighton & Hove to visitors. Last year, VisitBrighton organised over 100 press trips which resulted in in almost £5 million worth of media coverage. Titles such as Conde Nast, the Huffington Post, Sunday Times, Irish Independent, Telegraph, Guardian Online, Daily Express, and Times of India have featured Brighton & Hove as a result of work undertaken by VisitBrighton.

For more information about the VisitBrighton Partnership scheme, see:

Notes for editors


Photo L-R front row

Ruth Allsop, PR & Marketing Exec, VisitBrighton, Richard Pearson, Partnership Executive, VisitBrighton, Ivan Dong and Shawn Zhang, Rendezvous Café, Charlotte Barrow, Marketing Officer, VisitBrighton.

Latest statistics from Tourism South East’s Economic Impact of Tourism Study showed that the city’s tourism industry had continued to prosper. Trips where visitors stayed overnight hit 1.4m, up five per cent and the total number of visitor nights spent in the city rose by 7.5 per cent to 4.8m.

Figures released in May 2015 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) put Brighton & Hove as the 9th most popular UK city for international visitors. ONS statistics also showed the city as the country’s most popular seaside destination for overseas visitors and in September (2014) readers of Conde Naste Traveller magazine voted Brighton and Hove the ‘Best UK city for restaurants and bars’ – ahead of London.

About VisitBrighton

VisitBrighton is the official destination marketing body for Brighton & Hove and is part of Brighton and Hove City Council. 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 discounts.