Brighton and Hove Council calls in consultants over tourism restructure

Consultants have been hired to try to find new ways to market Brighton and Hove. Suffolk-based consultancy Stepping Out has been brought in to look into how the tourism attractions in the city are marketed.

But Jason Kitcat, the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said that the structure of Visit Brighton, the council’s tourism promotion arm, does not need to change to save money.

The council has been ordered by central Government to save £51 million over the next two financial years. Stepping Out bills itself as offering expert and supportive input to local authorities who are considering a “public service spin-out”.

Craig Dearden Phillips, the founder of the firm, said his company had been briefed to provide a report of the future shape and structure of tourism marketing in Brighton and Hove.

One idea is to form a destination management organisation (DMO). It would mean the work currently done by Visit Brighton would be taken on by a private company funded by businesses and the public sector that would be set up specifically to increase tourism.

Coun Kitcat said the move was not connected to the local authority’s need to make savings. He said: “The structure of Visit Brighton is based on a fee-income model so it is not a burden on the council tax payer. “I do not think a destination management organisation is the way forward. I think that businesses are busy – they already have a lot to do.

“I know there has been a lot of debate about the future structure of tourism marketing. I think an advisory board structure is the best way forward. We certainly value the input of tourism businesses.”

Max Leviston, the boss at the Sea Life Centre in Marine Parade, said a DMO structure could benefit the city. He said: “I am fully supportive of the private sector having a greater influence in tourism marketing in the city. But there is no big enterprise to take this on at this time. It’s a gut feeling I have that the money will not be forthcoming from the private sector and we will still need the involvement of the public sector.”

One prominent member of the city’s tourism sector, who asked not to be named, said a DMO structure would help reduce the doubling up of services and allow people to see who was making which decisions.

Comments (17)

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1:23pm Tue 6 Nov 12

s&k says...

What about marketing Brighton as a place to have a nice, quiet, sober night out, free from any threat of violence or abuse?
What about marketing Brighton as a place to have a nice, quiet, sober night out, free from any threat of violence or abuse? s&k

1:48pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Crystal Ball says...

One way to save towards £51m would be to not commission surveys at ridiculous cost to only reveal what is already known. Unless there could be a loan for them?
One way to save towards £51m would be to not commission surveys at ridiculous cost to only reveal what is already known. Unless there could be a loan for them? Crystal Ball

1:50pm Tue 6 Nov 12

chilliman says...

s&k wrote:
What about marketing Brighton as a place to have a nice, quiet, sober night out, free from any threat of violence or abuse?
That used to be Worthing in the sixties when just about everything closed by 10.30pm.

I used to come over to Brighton where things were a bit more lively. It still seemed a fairly safe place though so long as you weren't looking for trouble.
[quote][p][bold]s&k[/bold] wrote: What about marketing Brighton as a place to have a nice, quiet, sober night out, free from any threat of violence or abuse?[/p][/quote]That used to be Worthing in the sixties when just about everything closed by 10.30pm. I used to come over to Brighton where things were a bit more lively. It still seemed a fairly safe place though so long as you weren't looking for trouble. chilliman

3:05pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Chieftain11 says...

Brighton, along with most of the South Coast, is almost exclusively dependent on tourism and retail. For fear of getting kicked off this site, I dare not mention why I think so many tourists now avoid Brighton. Retail in the City is too big, contraction is unavoidable due to internet shopping, recession and parking costs. Brighton and Hove need more diversity in their economy or both will slip gently beneath the waves over the next 30 years. Stamping ruthlessly on drugs and crime may help but such measures tend to be unsustainable.
Brighton, along with most of the South Coast, is almost exclusively dependent on tourism and retail. For fear of getting kicked off this site, I dare not mention why I think so many tourists now avoid Brighton. Retail in the City is too big, contraction is unavoidable due to internet shopping, recession and parking costs. Brighton and Hove need more diversity in their economy or both will slip gently beneath the waves over the next 30 years. Stamping ruthlessly on drugs and crime may help but such measures tend to be unsustainable. Chieftain11

3:49pm Tue 6 Nov 12

bug eye says...

brighton and hove have forgotten its more mature in age and attitude discerning well off car driving tourist and the view of the city now is a party town for the young who dont mind travelling by train want to get drunk throw up and have a fight. The city is always in the press as the drug and drink capital of the uk and the high parking charges and road chaos, as well as other ridiculous council initiatives. Visitors expect and want the slightly seedy cheeky side of brighton and there are some great festivals and events and places for cultured tourists but until the truly underclass and ugly side of the city is dealt with properly we are once again on the decline. The council are letting businesses and hard working residents down.
brighton and hove have forgotten its more mature in age and attitude discerning well off car driving tourist and the view of the city now is a party town for the young who dont mind travelling by train want to get drunk throw up and have a fight. The city is always in the press as the drug and drink capital of the uk and the high parking charges and road chaos, as well as other ridiculous council initiatives. Visitors expect and want the slightly seedy cheeky side of brighton and there are some great festivals and events and places for cultured tourists but until the truly underclass and ugly side of the city is dealt with properly we are once again on the decline. The council are letting businesses and hard working residents down. bug eye

5:08pm Tue 6 Nov 12

HJarrs says...

Chieftain11 wrote:
Brighton, along with most of the South Coast, is almost exclusively dependent on tourism and retail. For fear of getting kicked off this site, I dare not mention why I think so many tourists now avoid Brighton. Retail in the City is too big, contraction is unavoidable due to internet shopping, recession and parking costs. Brighton and Hove need more diversity in their economy or both will slip gently beneath the waves over the next 30 years. Stamping ruthlessly on drugs and crime may help but such measures tend to be unsustainable.
I thought that tourism and retail were a minority in B&H? Amex is the biggest private employer, B&H council the biggest public sector employer. There is a flourishing IT sector, two universities etc.
[quote][p][bold]Chieftain11[/bold] wrote: Brighton, along with most of the South Coast, is almost exclusively dependent on tourism and retail. For fear of getting kicked off this site, I dare not mention why I think so many tourists now avoid Brighton. Retail in the City is too big, contraction is unavoidable due to internet shopping, recession and parking costs. Brighton and Hove need more diversity in their economy or both will slip gently beneath the waves over the next 30 years. Stamping ruthlessly on drugs and crime may help but such measures tend to be unsustainable.[/p][/quote]I thought that tourism and retail were a minority in B&H? Amex is the biggest private employer, B&H council the biggest public sector employer. There is a flourishing IT sector, two universities etc. HJarrs

5:36pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Seagulls2 says...

HJarrs wrote:
Chieftain11 wrote:
Brighton, along with most of the South Coast, is almost exclusively dependent on tourism and retail. For fear of getting kicked off this site, I dare not mention why I think so many tourists now avoid Brighton. Retail in the City is too big, contraction is unavoidable due to internet shopping, recession and parking costs. Brighton and Hove need more diversity in their economy or both will slip gently beneath the waves over the next 30 years. Stamping ruthlessly on drugs and crime may help but such measures tend to be unsustainable.
I thought that tourism and retail were a minority in B&H? Amex is the biggest private employer, B&H council the biggest public sector employer. There is a flourishing IT sector, two universities etc.
and I thought that the NHS was the biggest public sector employer. of course these are big organisations, and tourism and retail is made up of many many small and medium size businesses, who together may outstrip them.
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chieftain11[/bold] wrote: Brighton, along with most of the South Coast, is almost exclusively dependent on tourism and retail. For fear of getting kicked off this site, I dare not mention why I think so many tourists now avoid Brighton. Retail in the City is too big, contraction is unavoidable due to internet shopping, recession and parking costs. Brighton and Hove need more diversity in their economy or both will slip gently beneath the waves over the next 30 years. Stamping ruthlessly on drugs and crime may help but such measures tend to be unsustainable.[/p][/quote]I thought that tourism and retail were a minority in B&H? Amex is the biggest private employer, B&H council the biggest public sector employer. There is a flourishing IT sector, two universities etc.[/p][/quote]and I thought that the NHS was the biggest public sector employer. of course these are big organisations, and tourism and retail is made up of many many small and medium size businesses, who together may outstrip them. Seagulls2

5:57pm Tue 6 Nov 12

HJarrs says...

Seagulls2 wrote:
HJarrs wrote:
Chieftain11 wrote: Brighton, along with most of the South Coast, is almost exclusively dependent on tourism and retail. For fear of getting kicked off this site, I dare not mention why I think so many tourists now avoid Brighton. Retail in the City is too big, contraction is unavoidable due to internet shopping, recession and parking costs. Brighton and Hove need more diversity in their economy or both will slip gently beneath the waves over the next 30 years. Stamping ruthlessly on drugs and crime may help but such measures tend to be unsustainable.
I thought that tourism and retail were a minority in B&H? Amex is the biggest private employer, B&H council the biggest public sector employer. There is a flourishing IT sector, two universities etc.
and I thought that the NHS was the biggest public sector employer. of course these are big organisations, and tourism and retail is made up of many many small and medium size businesses, who together may outstrip them.
It is somewhere on the council website if anybody can be bothered to look!
[quote][p][bold]Seagulls2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chieftain11[/bold] wrote: Brighton, along with most of the South Coast, is almost exclusively dependent on tourism and retail. For fear of getting kicked off this site, I dare not mention why I think so many tourists now avoid Brighton. Retail in the City is too big, contraction is unavoidable due to internet shopping, recession and parking costs. Brighton and Hove need more diversity in their economy or both will slip gently beneath the waves over the next 30 years. Stamping ruthlessly on drugs and crime may help but such measures tend to be unsustainable.[/p][/quote]I thought that tourism and retail were a minority in B&H? Amex is the biggest private employer, B&H council the biggest public sector employer. There is a flourishing IT sector, two universities etc.[/p][/quote]and I thought that the NHS was the biggest public sector employer. of course these are big organisations, and tourism and retail is made up of many many small and medium size businesses, who together may outstrip them.[/p][/quote]It is somewhere on the council website if anybody can be bothered to look! HJarrs

6:33pm Tue 6 Nov 12

localboy78 says...

Why is it called visitBrighton and not visitBrightonAndHove
???? Also, the website refers to Brighton this, Brighton that, Brighton city this etc?!? It should be changed to refer to Brighton & Hove not just Brighton! Hove was forced into the union so that a new city (Brighton & Hove) could be created so it is not acceptable to keep on dropping the '& Hove' part of the city's title all the time!

If Brighton wants to market itself as a city then it should allow Hove to break free and apply for city status again on its own merits (although it will be refused as the population of the town of Brighton is not large enough to pre-qualify as a city)!
Why is it called visitBrighton and not visitBrightonAndHove ???? Also, the website refers to Brighton this, Brighton that, Brighton city this etc?!? It should be changed to refer to Brighton & Hove not just Brighton! Hove was forced into the union so that a new city (Brighton & Hove) could be created so it is not acceptable to keep on dropping the '& Hove' part of the city's title all the time! If Brighton wants to market itself as a city then it should allow Hove to break free and apply for city status again on its own merits (although it will be refused as the population of the town of Brighton is not large enough to pre-qualify as a city)! localboy78

10:04pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Kate234 says...

The best way to boost tourism in Brighton would be pay Jason Kitkat to stand down, reduce parking charges and stop upsetting the majority of tourists that come to Brighton. I for one would be happy to pay increased council tax for this cause and this cause alone.
The best way to boost tourism in Brighton would be pay Jason Kitkat to stand down, reduce parking charges and stop upsetting the majority of tourists that come to Brighton. I for one would be happy to pay increased council tax for this cause and this cause alone. Kate234

9:44am Wed 7 Nov 12

Dealing with idiots says...

localboy78 wrote:
Why is it called visitBrighton and not visitBrightonAndHove ???? Also, the website refers to Brighton this, Brighton that, Brighton city this etc?!? It should be changed to refer to Brighton & Hove not just Brighton! Hove was forced into the union so that a new city (Brighton & Hove) could be created so it is not acceptable to keep on dropping the '& Hove' part of the city's title all the time! If Brighton wants to market itself as a city then it should allow Hove to break free and apply for city status again on its own merits (although it will be refused as the population of the town of Brighton is not large enough to pre-qualify as a city)!
Apparently a focus group decided that it was too confusing to have the word Hove in the promotional literature. Hence the Visit Brighton rather than visit Brighton and Hove. Despite Hove businesses payng a fair chunk in business rates we get no town centre manager, no Xmas lights. How about no taxation without representation? Freedom for Hove!
[quote][p][bold]localboy78[/bold] wrote: Why is it called visitBrighton and not visitBrightonAndHove ???? Also, the website refers to Brighton this, Brighton that, Brighton city this etc?!? It should be changed to refer to Brighton & Hove not just Brighton! Hove was forced into the union so that a new city (Brighton & Hove) could be created so it is not acceptable to keep on dropping the '& Hove' part of the city's title all the time! If Brighton wants to market itself as a city then it should allow Hove to break free and apply for city status again on its own merits (although it will be refused as the population of the town of Brighton is not large enough to pre-qualify as a city)![/p][/quote]Apparently a focus group decided that it was too confusing to have the word Hove in the promotional literature. Hence the Visit Brighton rather than visit Brighton and Hove. Despite Hove businesses payng a fair chunk in business rates we get no town centre manager, no Xmas lights. How about no taxation without representation? Freedom for Hove! Dealing with idiots

9:59am Wed 7 Nov 12

Tallywhacker says...

Again with the consultants. One idea should be to stop hiring so many d**n consultants. Are council employees such mindless drones they have no ideas or input for the council on any matter.
Again with the consultants. One idea should be to stop hiring so many d**n consultants. Are council employees such mindless drones they have no ideas or input for the council on any matter. Tallywhacker

10:41pm Thu 8 Nov 12

brightonbunny says...

Not sure if "dealing with idiots" realises that the council does not pay a penny towards the Christmas lights or town centre manager. As business owners in the Business Improvement District (BID) streets a normal size shop unit pays an additional £400 per year in business rates to have these additional be benefits......... Still interested? If so why not set up your own BID in Hove?
Not sure if "dealing with idiots" realises that the council does not pay a penny towards the Christmas lights or town centre manager. As business owners in the Business Improvement District (BID) streets a normal size shop unit pays an additional £400 per year in business rates to have these additional be benefits......... Still interested? If so why not set up your own BID in Hove? brightonbunny

4:34pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Thumper Hove says...

If Kitekat is so sure that the tourism promotion arm does not need to change, then why is the council wasting yet more money on consultants......fro
m the cultural hotspot of Suffolk no less!!! Brighton is fortunately not Great Yarmouth.

I also thought the NHS was the largest public employer. It is abit of a worry if it really is the council (though hardly surprising bearing in mind how wasteful and out of touch the Greens are with reality and what the city really needs).
If Kitekat is so sure that the tourism promotion arm does not need to change, then why is the council wasting yet more money on consultants......fro m the cultural hotspot of Suffolk no less!!! Brighton is fortunately not Great Yarmouth. I also thought the NHS was the largest public employer. It is abit of a worry if it really is the council (though hardly surprising bearing in mind how wasteful and out of touch the Greens are with reality and what the city really needs). Thumper Hove

1:23pm Tue 13 Nov 12

pleasantlydisturbed says...

Sorry to be a pedant Thumper but Great Yarmouth is in Norfolk... ;-)
Sorry to be a pedant Thumper but Great Yarmouth is in Norfolk... ;-) pleasantlydisturbed

2:25pm Tue 13 Nov 12

ModelCitizen says...

Craig Dearden Phillips' Stepping Out consultancy seems an stange choice for this work. His background is with the third sector (charities) and he appears to have no experience of tourism. Why has he been employed to advise on this financially crucial facet of Brighton culture? Even stranger when considering the head of the council says they have no plans to spin the VisitBrighton service out to the private sector... when this is exactly the area he specialises in. Something seems not right about this.
Craig Dearden Phillips' Stepping Out consultancy seems an stange choice for this work. His background is with the third sector (charities) and he appears to have no experience of tourism. Why has he been employed to advise on this financially crucial facet of Brighton culture? Even stranger when considering the head of the council says they have no plans to spin the VisitBrighton service out to the private sector... when this is exactly the area he specialises in. Something seems not right about this. ModelCitizen

1:25am Mon 19 Nov 12

tonybee says...

As Meldrew said " I don't believe it" !
We have challenged, Idiots. morons. & imbeciles & then there is The Lucas Moo
(methinks she is but an empty vessel)
aided by the choccy bar kid of equal stature. For pity's sake lets get rid of the Green Communist Party.
Perhaps Kitcat & Lucas could emigrate
to Outer Mongolia & set up a Green partnership selling chocolate bars & car batteries. Mind you, they would screw
this up as well !!
As Meldrew said " I don't believe it" ! We have challenged, Idiots. morons. & imbeciles & then there is The Lucas Moo (methinks she is but an empty vessel) aided by the choccy bar kid of equal stature. For pity's sake lets get rid of the Green Communist Party. Perhaps Kitcat & Lucas could emigrate to Outer Mongolia & set up a Green partnership selling chocolate bars & car batteries. Mind you, they would screw this up as well !! tonybee

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