Tourism numbers boom as Brighton and Hove bucks the trend

More tourists are coming to Brighton and Hove, bucking regional and national trends.

The extra visitors gave the local economy a significant boost, Councillor Alan Robins told fellow members of Brighton and Hove City Council on Thursday (21 November).

The Labour councillor, who chairs the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, said that tourism supported more than 21,000 jobs in the area.

In a meeting at Hove Town Hall, he told the committee: “It goes to show how important tourism is to Brighton and Hove.

“In spite of what you sometimes hear from people, it shows how well we do and we are outperforming our rivals.”

One of the main attractions was the Royal Pavilion and Museums, which have just been awarded “Quality Assured Visitor Attraction” status, he said.

Last year people made 9.5 million day-trips to Brighton and Hove – a 1 per cent increase on 2017 – and the total number of visitors rose by 1.5 per cent to 11 million.

Brighton and Hove bucked the trend for both day-trips and overseas visitors compared with national and regional numbers.

More than 1.5 million people stayed overnight in the city – with almost 1.14 million from other parts of Britain and more than 370,000 from overseas.

Overnight visitor numbers also went up, with an estimated 4.95 million visitor nights spent in Brighton and Hove – an increase of 1 per cent compared with 2017.

These are more valuable than day-trips, with hotel or guesthouse charges adding to the higher average spend compared with day-trippers.

In the south east, international visitor numbers dropped by 23 per cent, with the Office for National Statistics attributing the fall to fewer tourists coming from European Union (EU) countries.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    So the i360 failed to gain from extra visitors which is even more worrying.

    • Barnacle Bill :o) Reply

      No, that’s Fake News!

      “The i360’s chief operating officer Ian Hart said that things were looking up for the i360.

      He said that the picture over the first three years was a positive one, with the i360 having become Brighton’s top paid-for visitor attraction.

      The Marshall Regen report said that it was the primary reason for coming to Brighton and Hove for 1 per cent of visitors.”

      Did you see the line “The i360 IS Brighton’s TOP PAID FOR VISITOR ATTRACTION!” ?

      Been up the 360 once, was ok, nothing special, but lots have done the same and continue to do so, latest visitor numbers come out in a week or so.

  2. Julie Reply

    How many of the overnight visitors are actually staying in guest houses and hotels? There has been a massive increase in unregulated short-term holiday lets, such as AirBnB, and these are having a negative impact on traditional accommodation providers. The traditional accommodations providers have higher costs relating to fire and safety regulations and have to pay business rates and taxes etc so are operating at a disadvantage.
    It’s a shame the council doesn’t licence the short-term holiday lets and make them contribute to the local economy.

    • Seaside Son Reply

      The availability of decent Airbnbs is probably what’s bringing more overnight visitors. Hotels don’t meet everyone’s needs. Airbnb hosts pay cleaners and plumbers and handymen and managers too. We recommend local restaurants and attractions. I’d welcome regulation as would most decent hosts. The more good options for visitors the better for everyone.

      • Nick Reply

        Not good for those who live in close proximity to noisy Airbnb’s. Not good for availability of housing stock for locals

      • Julie Reply

        There are plenty of good guest houses that can’t afford to compete with the AirBnBs because AirBnBs don’t have to comply with regulations.
        Here are some of the costs faced by guest houses that AirBnBs don’t have to pay:

        Regular fire checks and the costs of keeping up top date with fire regulations
        The availability and service of fire extinguishers
        Boiler/gas checks
        Electricity PAT checks
        Regular fuse box inspections
        Public liability insurance
        PRS/PPL music licences (just to have TVs in the room)
        TV licences
        Business rates
        Paying to have rubbish collected, including recycling
        Income tax
        …I could go on.

        I would love the AirBnB brigade to volunteer to comply with all of these regulations and then there would be a level playing field for all.

        Guest houses are also designated as accommodation providers and are not taking away residential housing stock and pushing up residential house prices.

        BTW, guest houses also have cleaners, undertake maintenance, make recommndations and cook for guests

  3. Bernie Sanders. Reply

    Another reason to avoid Brighton. Too many tourists and too much pollution.

  4. Angela Jones Reply

    It is nonsense that AirBnBs don’t need to comply with fire regs, pay business rates etc. Obviously they also employ cleaners and the maintenance schedules are much more extensive than in guest houses. They may not employ cooks but lucky local restaurants that get this money.

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