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Why UK Won’t See Tourism Money From Harry And Meghan’s Wedding

Industry experts say the nuptials will act as a powerful marketing tool to entice tourists in the years to come. But there won’t be more visitors during the wedding month of May.

“Don’t expect visitors from abroad to come for this royal wedding; it is a pageant for domestic consumption,” said Tom Jenkins, CEO of European tourism association ETOA.

The 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton did not result in a noticeable uptick in tourist arrivals or spending, according to the UK Office for National Statistics.

This wedding shouldn’t be any different.

“There was no discernible increase in bookings for the UK as a consequence of the royal wedding,” Olivier Jager, CEO of the ForwardKeys, tells CNN Money.

Analysts expect that any spike in visits from royal fanatics will be counteracted by the desire of other tourists to stay far away from the hubbub.

In January, Reuters reported the country was  expecting to see a major boost in its economy to the tune of around $600 million, thanks to the flocking of tourists who were predicted to be eager to get a closeup of the matrimonial action.

At the time, Chief Executive David Haigh of the business valuation consultancy Brand Finance was quoted as saying, “We think approximately 200 million pounds will come from tourism, travel, hotels” with another 150 million from parties and about 50 million from sales of commemorative T-shirts, hats and other items.

But all isn’t lost just yet.

Deirdre Wells, head of the British travel association UKinbound, tells CNN she predicts visitors will feel compelled to book UK trips in the coming years after watching the wedding on TV.

And Alexander Göransson, an analyst at the market research firm Euromonitor, agrees, saying, “Meghan and Harry’s wedding will continue to keep the UK in focus, especially from a US perspective, which is likely to sustain the current [tourism] momentum.”

The wedding will be held May 19 in Windsor, which is just outside central London.


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