Last weekend was a great success for Brighton and Hove, with nearly 400,000 joining in one of the biggest parties in the UK.
It’s shaping up to be a great summer for the city, with visitor numbers for the period April to July up around 10,000 on last year.
The Royal Pavilion has seen the number of people touring the Prince Regent’s eccentric masterpiece grow from 150,000 in 2016 to nearly 160,000 this year. The number of overseas visitors to the Pavilion is up nearly six per cent. Next door, the numbers of people touring Brighton Museum is up by 7,000 on the previous 12 months.
With 4,650,000 people visiting Brighton Palace Pier, it has secured its position as the fourth-most-visited tourist attraction in the UK, beaten only by London’s British Museum, the National Gallery and the Tate Modern. Half a million visited the British Airways i360 in its first year.
This weekend, Premier League football comes to the Amex, putting the city on a global stage with matches being broadcast in China and across the world. We learned from the Rugby World Cup a few years ago just what a positive impact sport can have on visitors.
Tourism has been a key part of our economy for over a hundred years. The conference and leisure trade drive employment in hotels, bars, restaurants and the industries that service them year round. We undoubtedly face difficult times ahead and we must not let up in making our offer to visitors from the UK, Europe and beyond as good as it can be.
Public and private investment coming into our city means the covers are up, cranes are moving and work is underway on many sites such as The Grand, the Shelter Hall and Circus Street. Madeira Terrace, Aquarium Terraces and Waterfront project will follow, delivering an expanded Churchill Square and a new conference centre and entertainment venue at Black Rock.
Brighton and Hove is doing well, but we must build for the future while making the most of what we have inherited from the past, showing we are open for business and pleasure whatever the economic or meteorological weather.
Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.