UK tourist industry cheered by royal wedding

The UK tourism industry has welcomed the impending royal wedding — and the “free publicity” that the event next spring will bring.

The director of VisitBritain, Patricia Yates, said: “Congratulations to Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle on their engagement. This milestone event undoubtedly puts the global media spotlight on Britain.”

A VisitLondon spokesperson said: “Across the UK it’s estimated that tourism linked to Royal residences such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle generates more than £500 million a year and attracts more than 2.7 million visitors.”

Russell Imrie, managing director of Edinburgh-based Queensferry Hotels and president of Best Western Great Britain, told The Independent: “Past experience gives evidence that royal events in UK do indeed have a positive impact on UK inbound tourism.

“In my own hotels in Edinburgh and Dunfermline we noticed a positive impact on UK inbound following previous royal weddings.

“This was replicated in Best Western Hotels in major UK inbound locations such as London, Bath, Stratford Upon Avon and York." 

Eurostar, the cross-Channel train operator, said that the 2011 royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw a 28 per cent surge in inbound bookings.

“Bookings were up from across Europe, including France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands,” said a spokesperson. In addition, Eurostar carried 21 per cent more American travellers.

VisitBritain says that more than 600,000 people reportedly passed through Buckingham Palace’s gates to see the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress in 2011, an increase of almost 50 per cent on 2010 visitor numbers.

But Russell Imrie believes the benefits to British tourism will be longer lasting: “I don’t believe that this increase is overseas visitors following any royal trail or specifically visiting for royal reasons. I believe that it as a result of the global media coverage that such events generate and the subsequent increase in awareness that the UK enjoys. Nothing beats free publicity.”

Partly due to the slump in sterling, 2017 has been a record-breaking year for incoming visits (up 8 per cent) and spend (10 per cent higher).

Some evidence from the 2011 wedding suggests that domestic tourists to London will simply shift their travel dates to coincide with the royal wedding. In April 2011, visits from outside the capital rose 8 per cent, but both March and May saw a 10 per cent decline.

imageReuse content

Source :

Related Posts