Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Tourism & the Windsors

AS a series of lavish ceremonies are held to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday, Travelzoo has looked at the question of whether the Royal Family are in tourism terms worth the estimated £37.9 million it costs UK taxpayers to keep it in the style to which it’s accustomed. 

Travelzoo's global survey of tourists* revealed that Italians are the biggest supporters of the #British monarchy, with almost 60% citing the #Royalfamily as one of the factors that makes the UK an attractive holiday destination. Almost half of Canadian (49%) and US travellers (48%) are also drawn to Britain because of the Queen and the Royal family, but not everyone is as enthralled – just 19% of German, 15% of French, and only 10% of Spanish travellers want to come to the UK because of the British monarchy.

US visitors contribute 7% of in-bound tourism spend in the UK, while French, German, Italian and Spanish travellers contribute almost a third (29%) – a combined £7.7 billion between them.

‘The UK makes £106 billion from tourism each year – 3,000 times more than UK taxpayers spend on keeping the Royal Family – and there's no denying that the Queen and the royal family play a role in making Britain a more appealing travel destination,’ said Louise Hodges at Travelzoo.

The Travelzoo survey asked respondents if they believed the Queen and royal family played an important part in the UK's tourism industry: 70% said yes.

Say Ms Hodges: ‘Buckingham Palace and the royal palaces have been in the top ten UK tourist attractions for decades now, attracting a record 2.5 million paying visitors in 2014, and contributing £55 million to the UK economy.’

*Travelzoo's survey was conducted using an online questionnaire in the five largest European Union member states by population, plus the US and Canada. The questionnaire was completed by 4,950 Travelzoo members.

Go Holiday editor David Kernek comments: ‘I suspect it might be possible to exaggerate the value of the Windsors to Britain’s tourism industry. Firstly, the cost of keeping them is disputed; campaign group Republic says the annual £37.9 million sovereign grant from the Treasury takes no account of the cost – also borne by taxpayers – of security. Secondly, while it’s undoubtedly the case that the royal palaces – Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Holyroodhouse (Edinburgh), Hillsborough (Belfast), Clarence House, Kensington Palace, and St, James's Palace, to name only seven – are big attractions, similarly majestic real estate in France, Germany, Austria, and Russia is also a big draw, even though these countries are republics. Thirdly, I think that much of the appeal of the British monarchy – and its continued popularity – derives specifically from the way in which Queen Elizabeth II has reigned. It will be interesting to see if and how that changes when the crown passes to the heir?’

Go Holiday news : www.govillasandcottages.co.uk

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