According to Statista Research Department, Windsor Castle and Frogmore House were the most popular of all the Royal Estate locations in the United Kingdom, receiving nearly 1.6 million paid visitors in the fiscal year 2019/2020. Buckingham Palace reported the second-highest figure, welcoming around 578 thousand visitors during its annual summer opening. In total, paid admissions to all the Royal Estate reached over three million. Income from ticket admissions to the Royal Estate exceeded £48 million in 2018/19, in addition to over £21 million in retail sales. Joss Croft, CEO of UK Inbound, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about tourism to the UK, and how much of this is solely generated by the Royal Family.
Joss said: “The British Royal Family are a key part of our heritage, with links to cultural sites across the country.
“The international popularity of historic drama series such as The Crown, have shown there is a real interest and desire to learn more about our Monarchy and trace their footsteps.
“Pre-pandemic the UK’s fantastic history and culture were one of the top reasons international tourists visited our four nations.
“Looking to 2022 and beyond, we expect this trend to continue, with attractions and locations such as Buckingham Palace, the Scottish Highlands, Caerphilly Castle in Wales and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland high on visitors’ must-see lists.”
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According to the VisitBritain luxury tourism report: “Perceptions of Britain are positive with a view of being luxurious, committed to culture and the arts. There is high importance of exclusivity. Britain stands for a lot of things to luxury travellers; most prominently ‘historical’, ‘royal’ and ‘traditional’ on a spontaneous level.”
Tourism from China, according to VisitBritain, is one of the most popular countries to want to visit the Royal Family. Their luxury report reads: “For China, the focus should be castles, royalty and culinary delights. Both Chinese and US respondents associate Britain highly with classic, royal attributes.
“Nevertheless, the appeal of that image translates differently in each market: Chinese luxury travellers would be interested in itineraries that include royal buildings and exceptional experiences linked to these.
“They are also the most likely to want to stay at historic houses or stately homes, while the other markets might fear that those lack some attributes of modern comfort.”
American tourists are also one of the most popular countries to love viewing all the royal attractions. An American tourist told VisitBritain of their appeal to the castles and royal elements of Britain: “I want different food, not stereotypical fish and chips and overall a cultural, historical experience linked to modern-day.”
Similarly, a Chinese tourist said: “I want to experience its nobles’ history/enjoyment, the life of the Royal Family, castles as well as butler-styled services.”
When tourists were asked by VisitBritain to describe Britain, the three top words were ‘historical’, ‘classic’ and ‘royal’. ‘Royal’ came in third place at 48 percent, behind ‘historical’ at 58 percent and ‘classic’ at 51 percent.
Another tourist from South Central China said: “Britain – for me – it is a very historical country – it is embedded with many luxury traditions – e.g. Scottish whisky is so famous. Also, the Queen and royal family can be found in this country. These royal members are still very respectable among the people.”
A tourist from the United Arab Emirates told VisitBritain: “The first thing if I close my eyes and think about Britain is the Queen – the aristocracy, luxury, grand, it’s all royalty which comes to my mind.
“Combination of royal, noble, and historical combined with relaxation makes the perfect stay in Britain. Exclusive tours and experiences which reflect Britain’s distinctiveness appeal greatly.”
In terms of cultural events in Britain for tourists to enjoy, the Royal Ascot is the sixth most popular event, with 19 percent of tourists admitting to attending.
According to VisitBritain, Windsor is the second most visited day trip destination by holiday visitors to the UK, after London. This is home to Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s favourite residencies where she even spent lockdown with her late husband, Prince Philip.
In the UK Day Visits Report for Visit Britain, it says: “Overseas visitors who take day trips to Windsor / Berkshire are more likely than overseas day trippers as a whole to be middle aged (35-54 years), arriving in the UK on foot (mainly rail) and be visiting from the USA or other noncore origin markets.”
In the top 60 cities and towns visited on a day-trip for all visitors, London ranks in first place with 1.2 million, followed in second place by Windsor with 484,000. These were the two most popular destinations among day-trippers in 2016.
In terms of holiday visitors, London and Windsor are again the two top choices. London received 452,000 visitors in 2016 followed by Windsor with 360,000.
According to VisitBritain, overseas day-trippers to Windsor make up 97 percent of all overseas day-trippers to Berkshire.
In terms of American tourism, VisitBritain says: “When asked unprompted about what comes to mind when they think of Britain, the Royals and bad weather are more frequently mentioned in the Tri-State area.”
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