A Visitor Economy Strategy for Brighton, the free-thinking city by the sea

The city council asked us to develop its new Visitor Economy Strategy and framework for a Destination Management Plan – part of a suite of strategies and frameworks that take a fresh look at the future of the city.

Tourism is vital for Brighton & Hove. The scale is huge: more than 11 million visitors spending nearly £900 million a year – twice the visitor spend of Bath – supporting over 20,000 jobs. Visitors play a really important role keeping the city vibrant and high profile, and supporting services, arts, activities, entertainment and jobs for local people.

But there are challenges. At peak times the city centre can feel like it’s bursting at the seams with day visitors – yet the local economy needs more staying visitors, especially outside the summer months.  Current visitors don’t always experience the best of the city. And others – who’ve not visited – don’t realise how special this place is. Competition is intense, and resources are stretched.

We proposed a fresh approach: thinking bigger, taking a lead regionally and acting nationally; knitting tourism more tightly into the city’s economic and place-management agendas; setting up a strategic tourism unit to complement the current team; and going for selective growth, targeting high-value markets and developing the quality of the offer.

"Competition is intense, and resources stretched. We proposed a fresh approach …"