Visit Brighton says it took conference bookings worth £58m

Posted On 20 Jan 2012 at 12:53 am

Brighton and Hove’s conference team said that 39 bookings worth £58 million were made over the past year.

Visit Brighton – part of Brighton and Hove City Council – said that 28 major conferences and events were booked for the current year.

The 28 conferences and events in 2012 are expected to attract 30,000 delegates and generate £45 million for the local economy.

Visit Brighton said that it handled 122 conference inquiries in 2011 – a 13 per cent increase on the year before.

From those 122 inquiries a total of 39 bookings have already been confirmed.

It said that the 32 per cent conversion rate was regarded as high within the industry.

Most of the events will be at the Brighton Centre, with others at the Dome, Hilton Brighton Metropole, The Grand, Thistle and Holiday Inn.

The biggest will be the Liberal Democrats party conference in late September which is expected to attract 8,000 people and bring in £15 million.

Other bookings include the TUC Annual Congress in mid September, bringing 2,000 delegates, and the Unison Health Conference in April, bringing 1,500.

The Visit Brighton conference team made 2,718 accommodation bookings for delegates attending conferences locally in 2011 – a 61 per cent increase on 2010.

The total number of bed nights generated from those bookings totalled 14,830 – a 78 per cent increase.

The team also hosted groups of French and German conference organisers in Brighton and dozens of other individual conference representatives.

In March Visit Brighton said that its team worked hard at selling the city at Britain’s main conference planners’ event, Confex. Some staff attended a similar event in Germany with Visit England in August.

The council’s cabinet member for tourism, Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, said: “These figures are a tribute to the proactive approach taken by the Visit Brighton team in marketing our city and emphasise the importance of the conference business for the local economy.

“The level of interest from conference organisers is extremely high and I expect that the Visit Brighton team will soon be in a position to make announcements about some major events coming to our city.”

  1. Daniel Johns Reply

    This is great news for the city and well done VisitBrighton. Given that business visitors spend more time but above all, more money when they attend business events, I am sure all the tourism related businesses (retail/attractions/bars etc)are delighted that 2012 will be a bumper year for conferences. Whilst large conferences sometimes do not sit well with some residents in the city, they do come at the time of the year when leisure visitors are low. These large events are vital for every citys economy (as well as jobs)so welcome one, welcome all – now go spend like there is no tomorrow!

  2. Dan Johns Reply

    Given that business visitors traditionally spend a longer time in the city than our leisure visitors, as well as spend more money, this is excellent news – well done VisitBrighton. These events are vital for both jobs and the economy of any city and whilst large conferences are a minor inconvenience to some residents, I am sure that the tourism sector businesses (hotels, attractions, bars, etc…) are delighted that a bumper year of business visits are ahead – I know I am. It’s an added bonus that all these large events take place when our leisure visitors drop. Welome one, welcome all – now spend like there’s no tomorrow!

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