Tourism is a travel for recreational, business and leisure purpose. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for more than twenty-four (24) hours and not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.” Now a day’s tourism has become one of the very popular global leisure activities (World Tourism Organisation. 1995).
According to Davidson & Arculus (2006), in the last 20 years visiting friends and relatives and for travelling for business purpose has become a biggest growth area in global tourism. Its growth has increased respectively by 249% and 219 5 during the last 20 years. Business tourism is very popular in UK and accounts for £9.3bn spend in England on 29.6m trips. As compared to leisure visitors the business visitors and conference delegates spend on average 2.5 times more. Out of all 40% of the visitors gives the feelings of visiting the place again if it appeals them.
According to Van and Hinch (1996), many countries needs tourism because of many different reasons such as some needs because of economic strength, some for employment creating etc. Egypt, Spain, Greece, Thailand, Lebanon and many island nations, such as The Bahamas, Maldives and the Seychelles, due to the intake of money for the business of their goods and services. This is also for the purpose of employment creation.
2. Urban Tourism
According to Ruetsche (2006), the consumption of city landmarks (such as architecture, monuments, and parks) and culture by visitors is called urban tourism. Tourism has assumed a large place in urban areas due to recent developments and technological changes and advancement in the recent decades. Entertainment plays a major role in the for industrial cities economies. People need to get relaxed after the hard routine. Others can get work and profit as well due to the leisure and consumption of some people. In this way tourism is helpful in creating employment opportunities. One of the main concerns for the private as well as public city elites is the attraction and accommodation of the visitors. According to Law (2002), international tourism has become a global phenomenon. Now a day’s large city has become the most important tourist destinations all over the world. In most of the metropolitan areas urban tourism is one of the main sources of employment and income. Success of urban tourism is mainly because of globalization.
One of the important aspects of the urban areas destination is a sense of place, unique environment or atmosphere or overall look that is created by people, locations, history, famous icons, buildings and nightlife.
Trend of urban tourism
For a long time there was trend of urban citizens to go to the countryside or seaside for a holiday or tour Ashworth and Dietvorst (1995). During 1980s the concept of urban tourism entered into the research agendas with the feeling of development of cities into important destinations to attract and appeal the visitors. There are always business tours and city trips around the world, but now a day’s leisure motive become a major part of travelling. The number of urban visitors is increasing day by day. The things which make urban places more attractive and appealed to the people are first of all the setting of a place (heritage, waterfronts and green spaces etc) and different type of facilities for different activities which includes cultural resources, sport facilities, festivals and different type of occasional events. These attractions are backed by many other facilities available in the urban areas includes hospitality sector, shopping facilities and street markets. This backed up group of facilities added to the value of the urban tourist experience. In many cities shopping is considered as a main reason for the tourism as the opportunities are immense there. In USA the Mall of America in Minneapolis gained a main position and become one of the markets of shopping tourism.
Some cities contain historical material which could be used as an opportunity to develop the tourism based on cultural grounds. The city trip market for the cultural and shopping tourism is on the growth and is linked together. Learning about the history and seeing of landmarks and discovering of interesting architecture has become of the main reason for the tourists attractions and cities are full of these type if things so there is a growing trend of tourism in the urban areas.
Attraction for tourists to the urban areas
There many reasons why tourists gets attracted to a destination. Most popular among the number of the reasons are as under (Ruetsche, Judith. 2006):-
When a visitor planes to visit a place the first thing comes in mind is the speciality and trade mark of that place. Now days with advanced technology and technique there are many wonders in the urban areas which attract many people around the world. These lank marks include monuments, beaches or seafronts, bridges like London Bridge, London wheel, Eiffel Tower etc. A popular tourist’s attraction in Paris, France is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Almost 7 million visit the tower each year. So there are many landmarks available in urban areas for tourists.
b. High media profile
Media plays an important role to attract people to a particular destination. A tourism destination that is popular in the media is attracted by the tourists. As Bahamas, Bangkok, Hawaii, Brighton has good media coverage and popular destinations among the tourists.
c. Hotels and resorts
One of the main concerns for the tourist is the accommodation during the trip. In this manner cities have many high quality options. Urban areas are full of attractive, smart and comfortable accommodations. Hotels, rests houses and resorts of different category are available in cities which one can choose according to his/her financial strength. For residence urban areas offer many recreational and leisure opportunities.
For deciding a tourism destination it is important to find the mean of transport. Tourist prefers that destination with easy air, rail and road transportation facilities. Urban areas have good air, rail and transports links and good roads to drive own transport. That’s why urban areas are popular among the tourists.
More entertainment is available in urban areas. Seasonal festivals, concerts, events such as cycle race, marathons and exhibitions are some of the very popular reason why tourists chose urban areas to visit. Tourist choose London to visit as they celebrate New Year night on London Bridge, Exhibitions at Olympia etc
There are more shipping centres and variety available in the urban areas. All big brands are based in the urban areas. It attracts tourism as they love to do expensive shopping when they are travelling. It also make continent for them if their required stuff is easily available. In London Oxford street and Regent’s street are worldwide famous for shopping.
Convention is a type of meeting where people gathered to discuss the common interests as said by Nagle (1999). One of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry is the national and local level business tourism which has become an important market. This section of tourism industry includes incentives, conventions, exhibitions and meetings. Business is not like business travel. Business tourism consists of the trips taken for the purpose of attending meetings, conferences and events etc. mostly business travel is conducted by the individual businesses which is difficult to track (Jafari, 1974).
Business tourists’ area much more interested in the new experiences. The UK business tourism is becoming very important and successful. Similarly South Africa is also a place where business tourism is on height and rowing with the passage of time.
The city of Brighton
Brighton situated on the south coast of England as a unitary authority area. This city was established when two towns were joined together. Brighton forms part of the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation, the 12th largest conurbation in the United Kingdom. On south coast there is very little or no gap between these two large towns (Carder, 1990).
Brighton is one of the most exciting, extraordinary and enchanting seaside city in Britain. It is an important commercial, educational, tourist, residential and conference centre on the coast of Sussex. It is serving as a conference destination from over 30 years. For the purpose of the meeting destination it depends on the repeat business. During 2007 90% of the business was the repeat business and most of which was of conference.
According to Mawer and Stenton (2006), Brighton information enquirers are likely to be female, aged between 25 and 55 with no children. They came out mostly for relaxing, having fun and getting away and usually come in couples and groups. Number of younger people is more in peak season whereas it greater among older visitor in the off-peak. The reason for coming in off peak season could be for specific attractions and events..
Brighton and Hove have many landmarks as recognition. Some of them are as follows. Birdcage’ Bandstand,Brighton Pier, Chattri memorial, Devil’s Dyke, Mazda fountain, Peace Statue, Preston Manor, Queen Victoria Memorial, Royal Pavilion, Royal Pavilion Indian Gate, Sea Life Centre, Victoria Fountain, Old Steine, Volks Electric Railway, War Memorial, Old Steine, West Pier (BBC, 2006).
Churches and places of worship
Religion is one of the important factors for any type of activity. Tourists are also so much concern about this. According to Jedi census phenomenon, 2.6 per cent people claimed that their religion was Jedi Knight (Office for national statistics, 2001). In this regard Brighton has many historical churches and buildings for tourist’s attractions. The “Mother Church” is one of the oldest buildings of the 11th century also known as St Nicholas Church. The two main churches are large brick-built St Bartholomew’s, and St Peter’s which located in the heart of Brighton and hove on an island between the Lewes Road and the London Road.
Brighton’s beach is one of the famous beach of UK and has been awarded a blue flag. The seafront has lot many attract for the tourists. In Brighton the seafront has many restaurants, bars, amusement arcades and nightclubs. Being near to the London it become a very popular destination for the tourists. There is also Ohso Social which is now transformed into bar and restaurant (Selwyn, 2006).
Cultural cornucopia of Brighton arts and entertainment
Brighton is considered as one of the most cultural cities in the Europe. Brighton offers a lot of entertainment through festivals, galleries, film, theatre, museum and nightlife etc. a unique choice of drama, music, opera, dance, literature and outdoor activities make a Brighton a cultural cornucopia for the tourists (Andrews and Crisfield, 2006).
Opera and ballet at the Brighton Dome and many art exhibitions at galleries and Museums offer an extraordinary type of cultural attractions. So Brighton is full of cultural goodies which have a strong attraction for the tourists and many tourists came here to observe the cultural events of the Brighton.
There are many festivals occurred at Brighton and they are occasionally such as the May is considered as one of the time of festival in the Brighton. This is the month of the festivals, funfairs and truly a festival fever. One should not miss this month and it has a great deal of attractions for the tourists.
There are number of festivals some are as follows:
Brighton Festival (1-23 May) is a festival has a great deal of attraction for the tourists. The festivals includes dance, music, debate, outdoor events, theatre which has a great deal of attractions for the tourists (Browne, 2007). There are 77 million paintings, an exclusive sound installation in various public places around the city.
Brighton Festival fringe (1-23 May 2010) offers mind blowing events. Its has a variety of events in it such as classical, dance, comedy, theatre, film, kids, literature, events, music, visual arts nightlife, tours, and many free events. One should not miss the mix of music, animation, dance and physical comedy as it is worth to see all this (McPherson, 2001).
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The Great Escape (13, 14, 15 May 2010) is the festival which offers access to 300 new local and international artists in 34 venues over 3 days. It is one of the Europe’s leading festivals for new music. The festival also offers afternoon shows, after parties, talks and music industry seminars and over 300 of the world’s best new bands perform here (Quinn, B. 2005).
One of the great buildings of Grade II in the heart of cultural quarter is the Brighton Theatre Royal. It offers the brilliant programs and theatre shows throughout the year. Brighton Theatre Royal offers the best theatrical line-up along the South Coast (Nagle, 1999).
Brighton Komedia and Pavilion Theatre are also the great theatre of the Brighton and among this Brighton Komedia is the award winning. It gives entertainment to all taste of the people.
History and heritage
According to Bate (1983), Prince Regent (Late King George IV) had his first trip to Brighton in 1783, from that time, the wonderful seaside palace, the royal spectator area having Indian domes and mosque towers and its Chinese style interior in it that becomes a mile stone which cannot be missed by the people. And because of prince influence, some of the Regency architecture can be found in Brighton.
The dazzling view of sea side can be given by Palmeira squares, Adelaide Crescent and the Beautiful Brunswick which open elegantly against the still lawns of Hove. When the people visit the Regency town house or elegant Preston Manor, it gives you the cultured atmosphere of an Edwardian gentry’s home, which make the tourist to enjoy some traditional and modern seaside entertainment on the Victorian Palace Pier (Andrews and Crisfield, 2006).
If the tourist wants to have a pleasant walk along the new-look beachfront, they can have this pleasant time with the town called fishing town which has the resort’s celebration history with Artists’ Quarter and Fishing Museum.
According to Ruetsche (2006), Brighton has variety of places to stay. Following are the famous place for accommodation in Brighton those attract the tourist.
In the Colson house, the tourist can find that it is the centre of Brighton and it is walk able to everywhere. Colson house has eight rooms which are all themed around movie icons. In these rooms, there are four posters and they have the wonderful balcony. These all are en-suite.
Instinctive and prudent level of customer service with wonderful, comfortable, graceful and stylish rooms can give the tourist a superior experience of stay. This hotel has awarded by Visit Britain for city’s first 5 star grading for its great accommodation for its guest. Moreover, this hotel has the license for civil partnership and weddings. They have extra offers for the families even like kids can go free and they do not charge extra for extra beds or extra breakfasts.
Brighton is famous for its friendly atmosphere, where the customers comfort comes first for them. It is situated in the heart of Brighton and its fully non smoking. It is about 200 year old and listed on Regency hotel of character as 4 Star grade II star. It is in the Regency Square, which is one of the Brighton’s main seafront square facing towards the west pier. This hotel is only on the three minute walk from the main conference centre, shopping centre and main attractions. There is NCP underground car park in the square as well. This hotel has highly refurbished double, single, twin and triple rooms which has all the luxury facilities with original fireplaces and elaborated moulding in many rooms. Most of the rooms are having antique furniture to maintain its former beauty. This hotel is recently been awarded as 4 Red Star which makes this hotel as 10% of the 4 Star hotel of the country.
Public transport started from 1840. In Brighton there are some railway stations, bus services, taxis and coach services. From last few years, rapid transport system is under consideration, in the past Brighton has trolley busses, hydrofoil services, ferries and trams (Carder, 1990).
There are regular trains operating from Brighton station towards London. Many people travel from Brighton to London so they have the destinations like London Bridge, London Victoria and Gatwick Airport; it also has the trains to Bedford. Worthing, Portsmouth and Southampton in the west are the stations which are served by the lines west and via Lewes to Newhaven, Eastbourne, Hastings and Ashford, Kent in the east are served by the lines east from Brighton station. A wider range of long distance destinations was closed by 2007-2008 because of the rationalization which made the services end via Kensington Olympia and Reading and beyond to Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Manchester. There is service on the line west to Bristol which operates twice a day.
The main and popular activity of the tourist is shopping in the Brighton and Hove. Like Brighton is multinational, it is the same with the shopping; the tourist can call it cosmopolitan city. Brighton has around 2000 shops which has the variety which the tourist can match with the largest cities; specialists shops are near old town and north Laine areas which are the main part of the attractions for the tourists. Half of the shops are located in the main centre around Western road and the outdated Churchill Square (Ashworth and Dietvorst 1995).
The romantic charm of the Lanes and the excitement of North Laine to the New Churchill Square have the stylish indoor shopping mall in the city centre. High street stores is mix of animated stuff and specialist are having the shops selling the stunning array of interesting. With the shopping centres there are many cafes, bars pubs and restaurants also. There are wonderful selection of theatres, cinemas, concerts and cabaret which are in the one square mile only. The tourist can cover all this in one day (Ruetsche, 2006).
Sport and leisure
If the tourist is fond of sports, there are some of the sports places as well like windsurfing, hire a Jet Ski or water slides at King Alfred’s Leisure centre. There is county cricket, horse, football and greyhound racing and world class windsurfing championships which can be enjoyed as spectators. The tourists can go mountain biking and walking also.
There is lots of experience for the tourists, as this area has the different character as it is different to the central seafront of Brighton. The open Hove lawns, the wide promenade and small number of outdoor cafes and well preserves beach huts symbolize the seafront of Brighton. But this section is less commercialised as compared to the central Brighton section, as it has less facilities and less cafes around the seafront for the tourists. Main cafes of this area are on actual seafront Promenade and on the backdrop to the seafront has the stunning Brunswick Terrace which is well known.
Current and future business prospective for Brighton
SWOT analysis is done to study examine the key facts both internal and external. Internal includes strengths and weaknesses while external includes opportunities and threats. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Kotler, 1996). It is very helpful in identifying the critical areas.
Here are some of the City’s key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis provides the baseline for the explicit actions must be taken care during the formulation of Strategy.
Its world-class architecture and heritage which includes Royal Pavilion and outstanding culture are one of the key strengths of the city. Quality accommodation, shopping, dining, successful conferences and business tourism market are also its key strengths. Its new and liberal culture also benefits it in this regard. The closeness of sea and so much attraction in its Sussex hinterland is also one of the tourist’s attractions.
There are many times when the supply of hotel and restaurants exceeds its demand. This is because of the lack of ability of local business man who are not able to invest in the maintenance and improvement of their business and staff. It is a big challenge for the city to remain attractive for the visitors who came there for business purpose. The engineering work sometimes becomes problematic for the visitors who are unaware of the work. Visitors often complain for parking.
The established and growing overseas markets are the reason of the increased interests of the people in the cities and there is enough room for the Brighton to make arrangement to attract more and more visitors. There are number of developments could be done in Brighton to attract people during the Olympics 2010.
The building of Downs the future national park close to the city is an advantage for Brighton. The heritage of a city as a spa should be used as a medium to attract more and more visitors.
The destination has its official website (www.visitbrighton.com) which is working successfully and attracting many visitors. However the competition is too much and there are many more destination websites available on net for the visitors and that can spoil these efforts to attract the targeting prospective visitors. Some of the competitors of Brighton are larger in scale and have a large private investment. So it is a great threat for the destination to attract the visitors.
This industry is highly dependent on the economic condition and the discretionary spending habits of the people. There is another threat for the development of this sector that is local skilled worker. During the Brighton Centre re-development this must be kept in mind that the tourism business of the city should be maintained as before.
Tourism has become an industry on which many countries are dependent. Now a day’s tourism has changed its dimension from rural to urban side. The number of urban visitors is increasing day by day. There are many things in urban areas which attract the people to the cities. Brighton is the city has so many attractions for the tourists and it offers number of events, places, festivals and many different occasions to the tourists. It has a great deal of attractions such as historical places, seafront, and theatre etc. Brighton is a treasure trove of things to do and places to go. It is really a unique place to visit, its vibrant, fun and free and colourful, also offers the energy of the city and the freedom of the sea. In this competitive world there is a need of highlighting the things that make the city unique and there is need to develop specific experiences for the visitor. There is need to improve the current perception of the city. In spite of these challenges the Brighton is a great tourist spot for the visitors and has lot to visit this place.