Concern that Visit Brighton would not survive without council funding.
Brighton and Hove has “no clear solution” for a sustainable future in tourism, according to the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB). It also expressed concern that for Visit Brighton, the city’s tourism guide, “2016 will be a challenging year in light of the council budget position”, and that it could not survive without council funding.
Research into the possibility of creating an independent body, or outsourcing tourism services, were not viable according to the Board. Neither was sharing services with other organisations. The Board said:“Brighton sees itself as a unique destination which does not lend itself to being shared with others.”
TAB was set up two years ago, to guide and advise Visit Brighton and Brighton and Hove City Council on the development of a sustainable tourism strategy. Made up of 25 members from the tourism industry, as well as three local councillors, the Board’s two-year term has now ended.
But no solution has been found on the future of tourism in the city - or that of Visit Brighton.
A statement by TAB, said: “Until the position on future council funding is clear, no immediate decision can be taken and TAB recognised that all the tourism bodies will continue to work with Visit Brighton until a more financially realistic model can emerge which has the support of all involved in the city’s tourism industry.
“TAB has created an opportunity for positive dialogue between the main tourism stakeholders in the city and it is important this continues.”
Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “The Tourism Advisory Board members have made a valuable contribution to discussions on securing the future of tourism services for the city. Our intention is to keep that city-wide forum going, but in a different format with a small number of sessions a year where we can engage with the tourism sector on major items for the city.
“We also intend to continue to pursue third party options for providing visitor services in the city as part of our modernisation programme. The Tourism Advisory Board acknowledges that we face difficult financial challenges across the council.
“We will work together with the industry to continue delivering the services that welcome millions of visitors to the city every year. The Tourism Advisory Board has established an excellent framework on which we can build.”