9 October 2017

Bumper summer for the Royal Pavilion and museums

Visits to Brighton’s Royal Pavilion were up by 6% this summer and are on target to reach an estimated 325,000 this year.

Between April and September the city’s iconic Royal palace received more than 220,000 visits.

The Royal Pavilion is a good general barometer of the local tourist economy and this year has seen a notable increase in the proportion of foreign visitors - 43% compared with 37% in 2016/17.

Visits to Brighton Museum also increased by 13,000, despite entry charges for non-residents. Between April and September there were 61,000 visits to the museum – a massive 27% increase on last year.

The increases are partly due to the weak pound attracting overseas visitors and some popular exhibitions, such as Jane Austen By The Sea at the Royal Pavilion  and Constable at Brighton Museum.

Meanwhile Preston Manor visits were 2,600 above target, with 11,768 through the doors of Brighton’s Edwardian mansion between April and September. Two-thirds of visits to Preston Manor are school groups and almost all the autumn sessions are fully booked.

Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the city’s Tourism, Development and Culture Committee, said: “It’s wonderful to see that so many people have enjoyed our museums this summer. The Constable exhibition at Brighton was particularly popular with residents and there’s been great take up by tourists for the History Pass, which gives access to the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum and Preston Manor over two days.”

Last year there were 308,000 visits to the Royal Pavilion, with overall numbers affected by rail strikes, particularly during the autumn months.