Hotel bosses were given an upbeat assessment of their sector at an awards night in Brighton.
They were also reminded of some of the challenges facing the sector by Jeremy Ogden, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Hotel Association.
Mr Ogden told colleagues at the association’s second annual awards dinner at the Hilton Brighton Metropole: “2015 has been a good year on the whole for the accommodation sector despite a slow start in the spring.
“Visitors were not deterred by the not-so-great summer weather but we were blessed with fine conditions in September and October which made for an extended season as well as having one or two large events.”
They were the Labour Party conference and Rugby World Cup.
— Nick Mosley (@BrightonNick) November 18, 2015
Mr Ogden, who runs two hotels, Strawberry Fields and LimeHouse, both in New Steine, Brighton, said: “It’s also great to see the investment in the city, with many of the large hotels carrying out refurbishments which confirms Brighton is still very much the place to come and investors clearly think likewise.
“This is against a backdrop of party houses / AirBnBand a council with diminishing funds to invest in tourism.
“So it is very much up to individual businesses to take the lead and I believe the accommodation sector in this city, which is an absolutely fundamental part of the visitor experience, is doing this.”
He flagged up a report from Tourism South East earlier this year on figures from last year (2014), showing there were fewer staying visits to the city than in 2013. But those who did stay, stayed longer.
Mr Ogden said that this reflected the national story, with Brighton faring better than most.
There were, he said, more day trippers and more foreign visitors coming to Brighton and Hove – the city was in good shape.
He mentioned the Harbour Group buying a seafront site in Brighton – currently the Umi – and added: “We have the i360 coming next year which should be a benefit for all.”
A Trivago survey two weeks ago on the best hotels in the south east listed Brighton hotels occupying 11 out of the top 20 places including five out of the top nine.
In fact, after Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in the top spot, the second, third, fourth and fifth places were all occupied by Brighton hotels.
The winners of the Brighton and Hove Hoteliers Awards 2015 were
Cleanliness Award – the Cavalaire
Customer Service Award – Jerome Pesenti from the Waterfront Hotel
Unsung Hero Award – Jude Cowley-Freeman
Best Breakfast Award – Drakes
Warmest Welcome Award (Independent) – Blanch House
Warmest Welcome – Seattle
Charity and Community Award – My Hotel
Outstanding Manager Award – Jason Bramwell from the Old Ship Hotel
Property of the Year Award (Independent) – Artist Residence
Property of the Year Award (Branded) – My Hotel
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