Tourism businesses are joining forces in an unprecedented manner to help each other through the difficult economic climate.

Some of Brighton and Hove’s bestrated hotels, attractions, restaurants and shops have agreed to set up a “kitemark” scheme as well as upload a new website where visitors to the city can share their experiences.

Both initiatives have been launched by the Tourism Alliance (TA), a private sector lobbying group for the tourism industry in Brighton and Hove.

Among its members are the Hilton Brighton Metropole, Ramada Brighton, Sea Life Centre, Palace Pier, vegetarian restaurant Terre á Terre, train operator Southern and Churchill Square.

Every business which joins will carry the TA logo and kitemark, which commits them to offering the highest standard of customer service.

Claire Mitchell, chairman of the TA, said: “This is not like a star rating system. We expect members to take responsibility for their own customer service and if we get feedback about individual members we would feed this back to them directly.”

The website, www.thetourism, will go live on Thursday.

It will feature information on upcoming tourist events as well as a forum for visitors to post recommendations or criticisms.

Olivia Reid, events and marketing manager at Terre á Terre, said: “We deal with hundreds of customers every weekend who often ask where the best places to stay and the best things to do.

“The kitemark gives us the confidence that we can steer people to the right places, meaning they will enjoy their stay and return to the city.”

Matt Huddart, general manager at the Ramada hotel, added: “The kitemark will send a message that we are open to feedback and should ensure that our customers recognise that as a business we are constantly trying to improve what we do.”

In the future the website should feature special offers from TA members.

Lucy Boucke, marketing manager at Churchill Square, who represents the shopping centre’s 80-plus shops on the TA, said: “It creates a forum for people to work together and come up with innovative ideas on ways to both self-promote and promote the city itself.”

The fact the TA is self-funded and receives no support from the public sector means members can “drive their own destiny”, according to Max Leviston, general manager of the Sea Life Centre.

This had already led to promotions such as a two-for-one deal in conjunction with the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), which was advertised through 100,000 brochures and 300 posters distributed across the South East and London rail network.

Mr Leviston said: “This is something I strongly believe should have been done in the past. Our individual businesses are benefiting but so is the city as a whole.”

Adam Bates, head of Visit- Brighton, the tourism arm of Brighton and Hove City Council, welcomed the initiative.

He said: “The really interesting this about this is that it’s cross sector. It is more beneficial when different organisations talk to each other rather than restaurants only talking to other restaurants.

“Every year we ask 12,000 visitors about their experience and what we can improve. But this website will do that all year round so this will provide us with richer and better information so that is to be welcomed.”