Royal baby could be a much-needed boost for UK tourism
Prince William and Kate Middleton, in the Council Chamber in the State Apartment in St James's Palace. Mario Testino / McClatchy and Tribune Newspapers
This is Brand Great Britain, and it needs this periodic boost to keep going. This one’s going to be a whopper for the tourism economy.
The Royal baby announcement is set to provide a shot in the arm for the sluggish UK economy that could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Tourism will be most obvious beneficiary of the “baby boost” effect as newspapers and broadcasters around the world focus once again on the Royal family, reminding readers and viewers of Britain’s rich cultural heritage.
The news that Kate is expecting is also predicted to generate a wider feel-good factor across the economy, which is still struggling to return to strong growth after a double-dip recession.
Britain’s culture and heritage, much of it linked to the Queen and the Royal family, generate £4.5 billion a year through tourism.
Attractions reported a surge in visitors around the spectacular 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and this summer’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations for the Queen.
One estimate put the value of last year’s Royal wedding to the UK’s tourism trade at more than £2 billion over a number of years.
Mark Di-Toro, from VisitBritain, the national tourism board, said: “It’s wonderful news and huge congratulations to the couple.
“The Royal Wedding and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee saw media from across the world converge for what was a fantastic broadcast spectacle.
“TV crews flew into Britain weeks in advance, offering us the opportunity to showcase the best of Britain – promoting our finest culture and heritage offerings.
“From Westminster Abbey to St Andrews and Windsor Castle to Anglesey, the new addition to the family will yet again allow us to take the story across Britain.”
A spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses added: “This will be the third year of good news in a row, bringing an inevitable feel-good factor to the economy.”
And on CNN’s OutFront, interview with CNN’s Royal Correspondent Max Foster, on Middleton’s pregnancy and the possible boost to UK’s brand and tourism: