Brighton & Hove’s tourism department might move the Visitor Information Centre to the Royal Pavilion shop. The Centre has been located in the much quieter part of town, Bartholomew Square, which is just a little bit off the beaten track for many tourists.
The new location means it will be easier for visitors to find and be directed to and it will also benefit from much more passing trade.
Extra satellite centres may also be set up at other locations such as business premises (where businesses are willing to provide information and leaflets), council buildings and the seafront office.
There are also plans in the pipeline to roll out a new voluntary ‘ambassador’ training scheme for front-line workers such as cabbies and bus drivers.
Red carpet treatment is seen as crucial in keeping or increasing the 8m visitors who underpin the local economy by spending £400m a year. The tourism business also supports around 7000 full-time jobs.
The idea is to improve visitors’ experiences by providing more face-to-face contact and better up-to-date information.
Chair of the committee Councillor Sue John said, “It’s about a more personal greeting and creating a great first impression. That can come from council staff and the thousands of front-line workers out there whose livelihoods are supported by tourism.
“Our visitor team already has contact with 300,000 people a year through the VIC or on the phone. We want to improve that relationship by meeting and greeting as many as possible face-to-face.”
Councillors will discuss the plan on June 14 at Hove Town Hall.
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Tourism, entertainment and hospitality
Brighton & Hove City Council