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News - 7 May 2005

Tourism is looking up in Brighton

Brighton & Hove’s tourism division ‘Visit Brighton’ has released new research findings showing who visits Brighton and why.

Head of the department Mel Sensicle said, “The figures back up much of what we already believed to be the case. But this data now gives us something factual to present to prospective investors and stakeholders.”

The figures show that Brighton is back in business after a number of years of poor performance following the disastrous years of 9/11 and Foot & Mouth. The city now attracts around 8 million visitors and tourism generates £377 million, which is on a par with estimates for 1999. But this time the figures are more accurate and signs are that the tourism slump is over.

Mel presented a detailed economic impact analysis showing how income from staying visitors compares to that generated by day-trippers and how the economy as a whole is affected by the different types of accommodation and visitor attractions.

In summary:

  • serviced accommodation generates £172.63 million
  • non-serviced accommodation generates £11.98 million
  • staying with friends & relatives generates £29.75 million
  • Day visitors generate £163.29 million
  • Total £377.65 million

An interesting discovery was that staying visitors spend only twice as much in the shops as day visitors do. Is this because shops are not targeting hotels effectively or is it that people staying in hotels have a whole different set of priorities?


The data also shows that a major turn-off for all types of visitor is the cost and availability of parking. This will come as no surprise to businesses operating in central Brighton and the data serves to back up arguments for change. There is clearly a need to improve parking facilities and enable visitors to get into the city centre easily and at a reasonable cost.

One obvious way to do this is through a new and substantial Park & Ride scheme. Businesses need to come together and lobby for this facility as it will have a significant impact on their livelihoods (for further information on how to do this contact Soozie Campbell on 01273 380040 or at

A full report on the research is available on request. To obtain a copy please contact

Read related items on:
Tourism, entertainment and hospitality
Brighton & Hove City Council
Sensicle, Mel

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