Perhaps benefitting from the Olympic effect, 2012 was an excellent year for visitors to Brighton & Hove with numbers up by 13% on the previous year. But did it generate sales?
The research, conducted by VisitBritain, identified a cash boost of £12m to the local economy as an additional 41,000 visitors came to the city pushing the total number up to 345,000. This places the city 10th in the league tables for UK visitor destinations after London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Oxford, Bristol and Cambridge.
However, Brighton & Hove Hotels Association disputed the good news saying:-
"The report of 2012 as a ‘bumper’ summer for Brighton and Hove will have dismayed most businesses in the hospitality sector. The only ‘Olympic effect’ was that people stayed at home and watched the games on TV rather then taking summer breaks in our city.
That, the weather, increased parking charges and bedroom overcapacity in the city conspired to create a very challenging prospect for hotels and B&Bs. Larger hotels will have worked hard to push their in-house group business to make up for the loss of tourists. B&Bs just struggled, with many reporting occupancies for the summer down by 10% or more on 2011.
Let us be clear here – the picture for the tourism businesses is anything but rosy, and the administration should not be complacent regarding this sector which is so vital to the city."
VisitBritain is predicting 40 million overseas visitors to the UK by 2020.
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