Brighton council eyes social enterprise scheme to promote tourism

Tourism chiefs are looking for private funding to promote the city.

Brighton and Hove City Council is looking at the possibility of part-privatising the work of its tourism arm.

A Suffolk-based consultancy, Stepping Out, has been hired to draw up proposals for a Destination Management Organisation which will market the city’s attractions.

The council’s budgeted net expenditure on delivering tourism services, including the work of VisitBrighton, was £10,895,000 in 20011/12.

The director of Stepping Out, Craig Dearden-Phillips, will meet with council figures and members of the Tourism Alliance including the Brighton Hilton Metropole, the Brighton Fringe and the SeaLife Centre on December 3 to discuss the plans.

Guy Hilton, general manager at the Brighton Hilton Metropole in Kings Road, said he was in favour of a public-private initiative.

He said: “We must make sure whichever funding model we choose has longevity. I worked closely with Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI) in the north east so I appreciate how a combination of funding from both public and private sectors has benefits and drives awareness of a region.”

Julian Caddy, managing director of the Brighton Fringe, said he would attend the meeting in December. He said the input of private business is crucial.

He said: “Those who appreciate what it is like to live or die by the success or failure of a season must be represented in any future marketing body. They are the ones who have been through it. “But I do appreciate that the involvement of the local authority can take marketing to another level. The help of VisitBrighton has been immensely valuable.”

Craig Dearden-Phillips said: “We have got to get the message across that the councils face catastrophic drops in funding but have to maintain politically acceptable levels of services.

“Keeping services in house will not help them achieve that. Social enterprises can be a more cost-effective way of providing those services and that’s what I’ll be trying to explain to the people in Brighton’s tourism industry at the meeting next month.”

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Comments (4)

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2:18pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Morpheus says...

Having read this twice I still haven't got a clue what this is about.
Having read this twice I still haven't got a clue what this is about. Morpheus

2:54pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Crystal Ball says...

The Council could always take out a loan...
The Council could always take out a loan... Crystal Ball

3:26pm Tue 20 Nov 12

martyt says...

if the locals can t afford to pay for parking ,who would want to come to brighton to spend 20/30 pounds for a day by the seaside
if the locals can t afford to pay for parking ,who would want to come to brighton to spend 20/30 pounds for a day by the seaside martyt

8:08pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Kate234 says...

The best thing Brighton Council could do for tourism is reduce parking charges. Whether the work of Visit Brighton can be improved a bit or not by this partnership doesn't matter a bit when you look at the serious detrimental damage Green council imposed parking charges are having on the tourism and conference trade in the city at the moment.

The only thing Visit Brighton and the council should be doing is strategically marketing the city to everyone. Not just rich people that can afford the parking; or rich families that can afford the high train fares (£661 return fare for a couple with two teenage kids coming down for by travelling from say Newcastle on the cheapest off-peak tickets tomorrow). Not everyone in the UK can afford to be a rich Green. Holidays abroad cost £299 for a week half board including flights (and you get free parking and cheap hire cars) in Spain and Mallorca. Thats' what we are competing with (let alone Bournemouth and all the other tourism towns that don't have rich greens in charge.
The best thing Brighton Council could do for tourism is reduce parking charges. Whether the work of Visit Brighton can be improved a bit or not by this partnership doesn't matter a bit when you look at the serious detrimental damage Green council imposed parking charges are having on the tourism and conference trade in the city at the moment. The only thing Visit Brighton and the council should be doing is strategically marketing the city to everyone. Not just rich people that can afford the parking; or rich families that can afford the high train fares (£661 return fare for a couple with two teenage kids coming down for by travelling from say Newcastle on the cheapest off-peak tickets tomorrow). Not everyone in the UK can afford to be a rich Green. Holidays abroad cost £299 for a week half board including flights (and you get free parking and cheap hire cars) in Spain and Mallorca. Thats' what we are competing with (let alone Bournemouth and all the other tourism towns that don't have rich greens in charge. Kate234

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