Tourism Consultancy Services for Sussex – England’s ‘Art de Vivre’ Destination

We’ve been incredibly fortunate to provide tourism consultancy services across a number of projects in Sussex over the last few years. It’s a lovely destination with traditional seaside resorts and a coastline that offers both vibrancy and solitude, the South Downs National Park and a beautiful landscape that is now home to the burgeoning English wine scene. The exciting and buzzing city of Brighton & Hove with a wide range of arts, events and culture sits in the middle, just an hour from central London and the villages and towns across the county offer significant heritage, arts, great food and drink, events and plenty of high quality accommodation options. It's a place that is all about the art of living well where many of the residents first came as visitors, loved what they found and never left.

We were really pleased to be asked in 2021 to work with the Sussex Visitor Economy Initiative, a coalition of the upper tier authorities (East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council) to develop a Pan-Sussex Vision and Medium Term Actions and to support recovery in a post-covid world.

Sussex’s visitor economy is worth about £5bn (2019), as big as Iceland and about 2/3 that of Wales with staying visitors accounting for 11% of visits and 50% of spend but it has the potential to grow significantly.

Our work resulted in a robust evidence base and a final report which set out a clear vision for sustainable growth to have a tourism industry as big as Wales with three development projects (‘Off the beaten track..’, ‘Camino Sussex’ and ‘A year of..’) and four underpinning actions (Stay Sussex, Sustainable Sussex, Digital First and Research & Insights).

In 2022 we provided further tourism consultancy services to review best prospect international market segments for Sussex, focussing on premium products and experiences with a particular focus on wine tourism. The market analysis resulted in two lead segments and two core markets for Sussex. A proposition and positioning for these segments was developed alongside recommendations for packaging and taking the Sussex offer to market.

Also in 2022 and with the findings of the De Bois review and plans for new DMO structures emerging, we worked with the local authorities and DMOs on an options appraisal looking at new ways of working together and which now form the basis of progress towards LVEP status with VisitEngland.

In early 2023 we had the great fortune to work again with Sussex Modern and the Sussex Wine Group of the Sussex Visitor Economy Initiative on a Wine Tourism Prospectus funded by the UK Cultural Recovery Fund. The prospectus was developed with many of the 138 Sussex vineyards and is a blueprint for establishing Sussex as The English wine tourism destination and growing wine tourism from £25m to £283m to 2040.

(Images sourced from Unsplash)