Do tourists visit Britain to see the Royal Family

The royal family is a magnet for public attention in the UK and abroad, regardless of whether or not you’re a royalist. The royals’ visits and tours attract a lot of media attention, as well as tourists.

The pomp and pageantry of British royalty is unique. Whether it’s a routine event like Trooping the Colour or an anniversary such as the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen in 2012, it can be found nowhere else. The public ceremonies are important for attracting tourists, along with the parts of royal estates.

The UK’s Association of Leading Visitor Attractions claimed was present at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

London saw an extra 600,000 visitors for the weekend. 60% of them were from the UK and 40% from abroad. They spent PS107m. The value to “brand Britain” due to global coverage was around PS1 billion.

VisitBritain stated that more than 2 billion people viewed the wedding ceremony globally. Its content was aired internationally by key broadcasters. The Office for National Statistics reports that in April 2011, 350,000 more visitors came to the UK than they did in 2010. The island of Anglesey, in Wales, was also a hotbed for tourism after the wedding. William and Kate’s wedding brought priceless exposure to the tourism industry. Some businesses also reported a 20% increase in their business in 2011.

The crowds outside Buckingham Palace following the Royal Wedding in April 2011. Rebecca Naden/PA Archive

These residences are also a magnet for visitors. In 2016, 2.8 million people visited the Queen’s official places. The top three were Windsor Castle (1 432,260 visitors), Buckingham Palace (576,995 visitors), and the Palace of Holyroodhouse (392,260 visitors). The statistics confirm research conducted by VisitBritain, which found that 60% of visitors to Britain from overseas are “likely to” visit places related to the royal family.

Britain is a destination of world-class culture and heritage. VisitBritain doesn’t collect statistics about the royal family. Still, in a response from 2012 to a Freedom of Information request under its previous name, the British Tourist Authority, it estimated that visitors to the UK attracted by British heritage and culture spend around PS4.5 billion per year, out of an overall overseas visitor spending of PS17 billion. Around PS500m from that, PS4.5 billion is attributed to attractions and events related to the royal family.


The UK has no data on whether tourists come to the UK because of the Royal Family. While tourists may not be attracted solely to the UK by the monarchy alone, the spectacle and accessibility of parts of the UK’s royal estate allow VisitBritain and other national tourism organizations to capitalize on Britain’s tourism appeal, which combines heritage, pageantry, and the contemporary. The relationship between tourism and royalty has an important destination-marketing aspect.


Liz Sharples is a senior teaching fellow in tourism at the University of Portsmouth.

This fact check is a good one, but it is difficult to identify the data that shows “royalty and the monarchy” to be the primary motivation for travel.

VisitBritain reports that over a third (34%) of tourists to London list a Buckingham Palace tour as an activity on their bucket lists.

, an anti-monarchy group, challenges thechallenges’s view that the British Monarchy is good for tourism and argues other attractions attract more visitors. The British Museum, for instance, was the UK’s top attraction in 2016. According to data provided by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), more people visited the British Museum than any other attraction.

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