Brighton & Hove City Council is seeking approval to establish an official tourism advisory board to help shape the future of the city’s tourism strategy. The proposal will be presented to the Economic Development & Culture Committee on June 20.
Tourism provides an estimated economic benefit of £772 million to local businesses including hotels, restaurants and retailers as well as supporting over 18k jobs
Currently, VisitBrighton , is responsible for the city’s official tourism marketing with a small marketing and PR team working to promote the city as a unique destination to visitors.
The VisitBrighton website provides online information about events and facilitates accommodation bookings as well as promoting over 400 partner businesses. A demand for online information has seen traffic to the website increase rapidly in recent years and unique visitor numbers to the site regularly exceed 150,000 each month.
The introduction of an advisory board is seen as a step to involve local businesses and utilise their experience and expertise for the benefit of the city’s tourism economy. It is envisaged that board members would include a range of tourism stakeholders including figures from private companies, education establishments, tourism associations and local councillors.
The advisory board would be a conduit for businesses to formally channel their views to help shape current and future strategies for the city. Members would not be paid for their involvement and their role would be for the mutual benefit of the tourism industry as a whole and not for the promotion of their individual organisation.
Establishing a tourism advisory board was one of the recommendations suggested by independent consultants that were employed to explore how tourism is organised and supported in the city.
Brighton & Hove City Council’s head of tourism and leisure, Adam Bates, says:
“Tourism management has changed significantly in recent years and we’re facing challenging times. VisitBrighton already has strong relationships with hundreds of businesses in the city but we recognise the benefit of engaging more tourism stakeholders and giving a voice to those that have a vested interest in the tourism economy. We see the engagement of an advisory board as a positive step towards supporting the successful branding of Brighton & Hove and ensure its position as a leading UK tourist destination for years to come.”