THE mayor took a walking tour of the town to see the work of artists and improvements made in an effort to boost tourism.
During the trip, organized by Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance, Councilor Alan Robins saw new commissions from local artists, met business owners and sight-seeed.
Visual upgrades to welcome visitors include work at Brighton Station, which features a hand-drawn map of the city showing its best-known landmarks displayed on one of the platforms.
Malcolm Trollope-Davis, who created it, said: “It’s great to have recognition for all the work that has been done on the map – it took almost two years to do, from research to drawing.
“It’s really nice to help encourage people to come back to Brighton and to be in this particular place is a great stepping stone for me.”
A new poster has also been put up on an old disused station building, welcoming visitors with large print, as well as a gallery of photos taken across the city.
Station manager Andy Gardner said visitors stopped to admire the photos, some of which he himself had taken.
He hopes tourists will return to Brighton this summer, with an increase in passenger numbers.
“Leisure travel is up strongly, especially at weekends, and I think that’s really dynamic in Brighton at the moment,” he said.
A new mural commissioned by Network Rail has also brightened up Trafalgar Street next to the station, with new performance space unveiled along the route, which the Tourism Alliance hopes will help improve the area.
Musician Sadie Horler said the space provides an ideal platform for performers, with space for visitors to sit and enjoy the music.
She said: “Brighton is very good at busking and I think it’s good that there are lots of different spaces to be creative in, and it’s wonderful that more spaces are popping up.”
Cllr Robins praised the efforts of the Tourism Alliance, particularly for showcasing works by artists from across the city.
He said: “There is so much talent at Brighton and it’s great to see it showcased.
“It’s very important that we encourage people to come back and enjoy the city and all it has to offer.
“When you come to Brighton you can just walk around, you can get your fill of culture and then pick up some fish and chips on the pier and listen to the sea coming in.”
The commissions come ahead of what is expected to be an eventful summer across Brighton and Hove, including the return of Pride after a two-year hiatus.
Cllr Robins expressed his pleasure to see visitors and residents returning and enjoying what the city has to offer, after two difficult years due to coronavirus restrictions.
He said: “It’s great to see people going out and people enjoying the sunshine and the freedom they have now, and not feeling like they have to be indoors or wear a mask. It’s so good to be back to normal and enjoying what we want to do.
Anne Ackord, Chair of the Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance and Chief Executive of the Brighton Pier Group, said: ‘We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and his party to the pier as they tour around Brighton and Hove to see a part of the work of the Tourism Alliance.
“It is extremely important that the city be at its best and equally important to promote the skills of local artists of all genres.
“The city and its businesses face a huge challenge in recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic, and all the work done recently to improve the city’s presentation is a welcome contribution to that effort.”