A tourist attraction
Research from Visit Britain has revealed that the UK tourism industry will benefit immensely from the marriage of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton in early 2011. The royal wedding will not only see sales of replica rings and dresses, commemorative plates and other souvenirs skyrocket, but will benefit hotels and restaurants across the UK too, as well as related trades such as hotel suppliers and travel operators.
Events and places associated with the monarchy already draw around £500 million in annual revenue for tourism, but like the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981, the upcoming ceremony is set to increase interest in the Royal Family as well as see an influx of tourists wanting to join the festivities. Luxury hotels in and around London will undoubtedly be fully booked once the couple set a date for their nuptials, as will restaurants serving English specialities.
However, it is not only London that will benefit. St Andrews in Scotland, where the couple went to university and began their courtship, is touted as a potential tourism goldmine, with other royal attractions such as Balmoral nearby. Prince William's work for the North Wales Search and Rescue team, and tendency to pop to the local shops, could also see celebrity-spotters flooding guesthouses and restaurants in rural Snowdonia.
The world comes to Britain
Research from VisitBritain shows the economically expanding BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – will be among those leading the surge of tourism into Britain. A poll of 25,000 people revealed over 71 per cent from each of these countries would aim to visit places connected with the monarchy. Other potential visitors included Malaysia, the Czech Republic and Mexico. In another question, respondents were given a choice of 15 postcards that they would send home; the third most popular choice was an image of the Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, just ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games – all of which suggest a very positive outlook for the UK tourism industry.