Visitor economy

We are working in partnership to promote West Sussex as a place to visit and to support businesses and the wider sector.

In 2019, the West Sussex tourism economy was valued at over £2.1billion, delivering 38,520 jobs. There were 24.3 million visitors to the county, with the majority being day visitors. Overnight stays were connected with travel through Gatwick Airport.

This is why we are focussing on promoting the all year round offer we have in the county, targeting audiences who live in London or a short drive-time from West Sussex, and international travellers who pass through Gatwick Airport.

Through the Experience West Sussex partnership, the County Council is working with district and borough councils on a wide-reaching range of initiatives to develop the visitor economy. This will ensure there is a high value visitor offer that provides value and jobs across the county. A key delivery is to provide county wide visitor inspiration through a creative digital marketing programme.

Key initiatives of the programme work to extend the season, reduce the seasonality of employment and grow the visitor economy within West Sussex.

Developing our visitor economy will also help to boost the vibrancy of our town centres and market towns, supporting the wider priorities of creating attractive places for people to live and work, and for business to locate and invest.

Experience West Sussex

West Sussex Partnership

The Experience West Sussex Partnership is a forward-thinking tourism destination collaboration, created to ensure West Sussex is consistently a number one destination choice for domestic and international visitors.

It has been set up and funded by the councils of West Sussex and has an agreed delivery plan for the period 2018-2024.


It aims to do this through

  • industry leadership – working with Visit Britain/Visit England and other tourism sector organisations
  • B2C and B2B marketing – through Experience West Sussex, digital and print marketing as well as PR
  • product development – improving and broadening the tourism offer available for visitors
  • business engagement – business support and training
  • insight from data intelligence – funding research and data insight to plan for the future
  • lobbying for improvements, increased government support and increased sector recognition.

Businesses who are interested in getting involved and learning more about the work of Experience West Sussex can contact

Listing on the website is free, as is inclusion in marketing, PR and advertising activity. Eligibility criteria will apply. Businesses can also sign up to our monthly newsletter, which covers our Experience West Sussex plans, seasonal campaigns and industry news and updates. For more information and tailored sector support visit Experience West Sussex Business Hub.

Sussex Visitor Economy Initiative

The Sussex Visitor Economy Initiative (SVEI) is a cross-county approach developed to support the recovery and growth of the tourism sector in Sussex.

West Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and East Sussex County Council have led the initiative, working with destination partnerships and management organisations across the county to progress.

Read more about the Sussex opportunity and the first steps for this initiative.

For information on places to visit and explore

View the Experience West Sussex website