English Tourism Week 2022, an annual celebration of English Tourism led by Visit England, highlights and raises awareness of the importance, value, and diverse contribution the tourism sector makes to the UK economy to key stakeholders – including MPs.
Pre-pandemic, English tourism generated £106 billion a year and helped support over 2.6 million jobs. English tourism touches everyone, from visitors and residents, to businesses and destinations. It is one of the few sectors that is active in every part of the country, and it is now more important than ever to raise awareness and support English Tourism as they rebuild and welcome back visitors.
Here at BA i360, we support English tourism through supporting local businesses and people, international tourism, diversity, culture and heritage.
1) Support local businesses and people
We are proud to call Brighton and Sussex home, which is why we love to support local businesses and suppliers. One of the first reasons why we support English Tourism is because we have some great local businesses, artists, and makers in our area.
Did you know that most of the drinks served at the Sky Bar are produced in Sussex, along with over 40% of the items sold in our shop? Not only do we source products from local suppliers and businesses, we also source our staff locally too with more than 80% of staff members living within 5 miles of the attraction!
Dawn, one of our longest serving guest experience hosts, has taken over 5000 flights on board the BA i360 pod since we opened in 2016 – that’s almost the equivalent of driving from the BA i360 to Edinburgh Castle and back again!
British Airways i360 Viewing Tower was built with sustainability at its heart. We’re committed to celebrating and giving back to the environment that surrounds us. A second reason why we support English Tourism is because of its diversity. It’s not just attractions, shops and businesses that make up English Tourism but our vast range of national parks, hidden gardens, and coastal beaches too.
We’re incredibly lucky to be situated in one of the UK’s seven UNESCO Biospheres, Brighton & Lewes Downs. We love being able to explore and enjoy the views of the South Downs National park not only by foot, but also from 450ft in the air from the BA i360 pod.
3) International Tourism
A third reason why we support English Tourism is because it’s the UK’s third largest service export. We are proud to welcome thousands of international visitors to BA i360 each year – from large student groups to solo international travellers. One of our favourite moments last year was hosting members from ten different countries of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This group of Girl Guides were from St Vincent and the Grenadines – it was their first trip to the United Kingdom and we were thrilled to introduce them to the South Coast of England and Mayor of Brighton & Hove from onboard the pod.
4) Culture & Heritage
Brighton & Hove especially is filled with a rich assortment of historic and cultural gems from its Regency architecture and Royal Pavilion to our beloved West Pier and Bandstand. Many of which still thrive today because of the income generated from English Tourism. Our fourth reason for supporting English Tourism is because of its importance to our culture and heritage.
In addition to the unique flight and outstanding architecture and engineering, the BA i360 is also a celebration of the West Pier’s heritage. Our toll booths, housing the ticket office and cafe, are exact replicas of the original 1866 toll booths built as part of the West Pier. The new castings employed the same historic methods and traditional skills of pattern makers, method engineers, moulders, core makers and fettlers used when the iron parts were originally made in the 1860s. The precise and delicate ornate iron castings reveal the artistry and skill of both Victorian and modern designers and craftspeople.
If you’re looking for a career in the tourism industry – keep an eye on our careers page!