UK Tourism and The Royal Family Effect
The royal family has long been touted as a boon for the UK tourism industry. Despite this, data linking the monarchy with tourists’ motivations for visiting the UK is difficult to come by. Statistics from VisitBritain show that 64% of inbound tourists plan to visit some of the country’s most famous monuments. Doubtless many of these monuments have royal links, especially given that a third of London-bound tourists list Buckingham Palace as a must-see.
With a new royal baby and a forthcoming royal wedding, it’s a bumper couple of months for fans of Britain’s royal family. When news broke of Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle, VisitBritain director, Patricia Yates, went on the record to confirm the positive effect the engagement and subsequent wedding would have for the UK tourist industry. Some estimates have put the expected financial boost for hotels, shops, theatres and restaurants at as much as £2bn.
With preparations already well underway in Windsor for the “wedding of the year”, it’s likely that many of the towns restaurants, hotels and shops will be hoping to share some of the financial spoils. Opodo.co.uk reports a spike in London-bound bookings for the weekend of the wedding. The majority of Windsor hotels are already booked up for the wedding but Airbnb and holiday rentals are filling the gap, with many visitors apparently turning to nearby Slough to find accommodation.