'The Royal Pavilion palace, Brighton: values and perceptions,' Chapter from the book Perspectives on Impact, Technology and Strategic Management: Heritage Management Series Volume 1, Eds J McLoughlin, J Kaminski and B Sodagar, EPOCH through Archaeolingua, Hungary, 2007, pp 86-97, ISBN 978 963 8046 83 3
This contribution extends the remit of the research investigations undertaken in Residents Values that were focused on the attitudes and outlook of Brighton residents in determining the economic value of the Royal Pavilion. It presents a study into visitor attitudes to the City of Brighton and Hove and its Pavilion, examining the role the latter plays in influencing visitors’ destination decisions and associated spending patterns.
The study analysed around 650 responses from approximately equal numbers of visitors and residents sampled at five representative sites around the city at different times. The survey was conducted by 10 student groups as well as professional surveyors and was used as part of the educational process in order to develop the students, investigative powers and practical research capabilities. Also it provided us with the opportunity to engage with the students, visitors and residents of Brighton in discussions that some of which were highly informative and some of which were highly amusing. The survey included qualitative analysis of the relative perceptions of visitors in terms of their visit intentions and definitions of Brighton’s identity, as well as associations of the Pavilion and other factors that can be used to inform future marketing campaigns and investment decisions. Most significantly, a technique for monetising the value of a heritage site to the local economy is proposed. By extrapolating the result over the visitor numbers reported by the city, the Pavilion’s contribution to the tourist economy can be estimated as a yardstick of relative importance within political decision-making. Heritage site managers can easily apply this ‘yardstick’ measure in a much wider context. In view of the resources shortage in heritage sites, this is a cost-effective methodology for site managers to determine their economic impact.
The findings have been fed back to the Royal Pavilion management and proved their strategic value for the marketing and operations of the site. The some of the results have been reported and used by the local press. The information has also been disseminated to the City Council, where it has been used to highlight the Pavilion’s importance to the Brighton economy, an issue that has caused considerable debate in the recent years. This research has also informed the approach of the CUBIST group (see Valuation Methodologies) at the Brighton Business School.