Royal wedding is ‘valuable marketing’ for UK tourism

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will spark domestic and overseas interest in visits to royal attractions, say analysts.

A survey by market research firm Mintel suggested that about 15% of Brits say they are inspired by the wedding to visit sites with a royal connection, such as Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

About a quarter (23%) of those aged 16 to 24 said they would like to see such sights, compared to just 7% of those aged over 65.

Nearly one in five (19%) Americans said they would be interested in visiting sites in the UK associated with British royalty, rising to 28% of those aged 18 to 24.

Meanwhile, economic forecasting group EY ITEM Club predicts tourism and retail businesses are the most likely to benefit from the wedding in Windsor on May 19.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said: “We suspect there will be a very limited, temporary boost to the economy focused on some sectors, notably retail, tourism and, possibly, catering and pubs.

“The royal wedding should provide valuable marketing to UK tourism as coverage of the event will be shown around the world. For example, we may see an increase of tourists from America coming to the UK.”

Jack Duckett, senior consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel, said: “The considerable global media attention the royal wedding is attracting also underlines the commercial opportunities for ‘Brand Britain’.

“This includes increasing tourism to the UK, with people encouraged to come and see British landmarks for themselves.

“While the British royal family has long been popular with older generations, in recent years the celebrity nature of the younger royals, as well as shows such as Netflix’s The Crown, have helped bolster interest in the British monarchy among younger adults – both at home and abroad.

“This only expands the commercial benefits of this wedding, as it brings ‘Brand Britain’ to a younger, global audience.”

An estimated 100,000 people will visit Windsor for the wedding on May 19.

Visit Britain director Patricia Yates described the event as “a fantastic showcase moment for Britain”, and the American audience will be particularly interested as the bride is from the US.

The US is the biggest overseas market for Britain, worth an estimated £3.5 billion annually, and growing.

Yates said the wedding can cement that growth, adding that forward bookings from the US were looking strong.

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