The first of Brighton’s new Promettes will start guiding tourists this Easter.
The newly-recruited on-street volunteers will be based at Brighton Station on Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday Monday morning, and down by the Royal Pavilion – together with a member of staff from the Sea Life Centre – on Monday afternoon.
The volunteers will be armed with city maps and a new Mini Rough Guide to Brighton and Hove and ready to give visitors a warm welcome to the city.
They will be able to offer their help and advice about where to stay and eat and give information about the latest attractions and events taking place during their stay.
The volunteers will fill a gap created by the closure of the city’s main Visitor Information Centre at the Royal Pavilion last year,
To ensure they are easily recognisable and approachable the volunteers will be wearing branded blue and orange uniforms, designed by social enterprise company Able & Willing (www.ableandwilling.org.uk).
On-street guides are not new to Brighton. In the 1950s a group of smartly dressed models, known as Promettes, regularly patrolled the seafront at weekends offering advice and answering tourists’ questions.
VisitBrighton already runs a popular Greeter scheme, part of the Global Greeter Network, where volunteers take visitors around the city to show them their favourite places.
Three new visitor information points (VIPs) will also be open by the Easter weekend. Staff at Brighton Station’s travel centre, Grosvenor G Casino on Grand Junction Road and Amsterdam Hotel on the corner of Broad Street, have been trained by VisitBrighton and will soon be joined by beachfront arts & crafts shop Oh So Swedish, to provide a network of 14 staffed information points across the city.
Each VIP has external & internal branded signage to make them easy to find and has display racking with leaflets and literature on the major attractions and events.
The new Mini Rough Guide to Brighton & Hove, produced by VisitBrighton in conjunction with Rough Guides, is already proving popular with visitors. The full-colour, A6 size, mini-guide to the city has sections on the different neighbourhoods and surrounding areas and includes main attractions, a festivals and events calendar, places to shop, eat and stay as well as a LGBT section.
Over 100,000 copies of the guide have been printed and are available free of charge from VisitBrighton partner hotels and visitor information points across the city including the Brighton Centre box office, The Old Market in Hove and the seafront Brighton Hotel.
Brighton & Hove City Council’s Economic Development & Culture Committee chair Geoffrey Bowden says: “The City Champions are a great addition to the raft of visitor information on offer and we salute the volunteers who have come forward to share their experience and enthusiasm for the city. We know more and more people are accessing their information online and using smartphones to find their way around but we still want to provide a face-to-face presence where possible.
“The scheme is open to people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities with excellent people skills and provides an ideal opportunity for them to get training and gain experience in a frontline customer service role. We hope to recruit more volunteers to join the team as we go forward into the summer season.
Visitor Information points (VIPs) are located at:
· Brighton Centre Box Office
· Jubilee Library
· Thistle Brighton Hotel
· St Paul’s Church (West Street)
· Churchill Square Shopping Centre
· Brighton Hotel (corner of Kings Road / Bedford Square)
· The Old Market (off Western Road on Brighton / Hove border)
· Royal Pavilion Shop
· Brighton Toy & Model Museum
· Brighton Pier
· Brighton Station’s travel centre
· Grosvenor G Casino
· Amsterdam Hotel
· Oh So Swedish
The VIP at the Brighton Centre Box Office also offers a further range of services including:
UK Train tickets
UK Coach tickets
Discounted tickets for the Sea Life Centre; a joint ticket for the Sea Life Centre and the Royal Pavilion, and a triple ticket which also includes the Wheel – these tickets can save visitors around 1/3 of the “on the door” price.
For more information: www.visitbrighton.com/brighton-product/brighton-visitor-information-p1000781
For information about becoming a City Champion, please see: www.visitbrighton.com/city-champions