We've all felt that Brighton was holding it's own throughout the recession but no one dared to be too smug or complacent about it. Indeed many traders have been cautious about admitting their figures were up.
Well the official count has now been done and it is clear that the numbers are up for 2009. Even more surprising is the fact that people have also been spending more.
A report from Tourism South East shows spending by day trippers shot up by 8.5% to £264m. While overall visitor numbers increased to just over 7m, an increase of 5%.
Numbers of staying visitors increased 4% to around 1.5m, while their spending went up by 4% to £470m.
Spin-off benefits, such as extra work for suppliers, make tourism worth just under a billion pounds to the city annually – up 5.3%.
With some 13,600 jobs relying on tourism and around 12% of Brighton's workeres in tourism-related roles this is good news for Brighton's economy.
Councillor in charge of tourism, David Smith said, “It’s an interesting twist in the recession tale. We have gained from the staycation effect, with more people holidaying at home, more people having days out rather than holidays, and more visitors from abroad because of the cheaper pound.
It hasn’t happened by luck. Our marketing has been very geared towards taking advantage of these recession opportunities and we won an award for it.
“The city is also a great product with attractive events such as White Night and the Brighton Marathon pulling in visitors. Local businesses have played a huge part, continuing their investment and development of staff to ensure that visitors who come have a great welcome.”
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Tourism South East