They’ve been together for what seems like a lifetime, but now that Prince William has finally popped the question to Kate Middleton, we now have a Royal Wedding on the cards. And on top of the well-appreciated extra bank holiday, the celebration is expected to bring a two-year boost for hospitality operators, as tourists from all over the world flock to the UK.
The Royal bash is set for 29th April next year and it looks as if all eyes will be on the UK with the wedding being followed by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics in 2012.
So what does it all mean for hospitality and tourism?
Let’s face it – the tourism industry hasn’t had the easiest year, what with ash clouds, strikes, rising travel taxes and economic despair.
April 29th 2011 represents a rare glimmer of fantastic news for the tourism and hospitality industries, particularly as it falls outside of the peak season, and some London hotels have already seen a threefold increase in bookings for the last week of April.
According to figures from VisitBritain, the monarchy currently generates well over £500m in revenue for the British tourism industry, a figure that is expected to soar in the year of a royal wedding.
You’re pretty unlucky if your birthday, anniversary or other celebrations fall on this weekend though – hotels are charging around 200% more for rooms! And imagine the fight for attention if your own wedding was set for the same date?
But the combination of the event alongside the Queen’s Jubilee and 2012 Olympics has come at a welcome time with the current economic climate and the boost to the industry is expected to create a mass of jobs and a lasting legacy for tourism to Britain.
Some think that the wedding will be even more successful than the Olympics at driving tourism to the UK, and that the event will reignite the world’s interest in our country’s history and culture.
Let’s hope that these two memorable events will bring this desperately-needed boost to British tourism and hospitality!
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