The news of the forthcoming marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is being celebrated worldwide, and those watching the British economy will be especially cheered by the happy occasion.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding saw an unprecedented tourism boost, with 30.6m visitors arriving on our shores from overseas that same year, compared to 800,000 in 2010.
Each visitor spent £600 while they were on British soil. William and Kate have boosted Britain’s brand, presenting a more modern, attractive, ‘down to earth’ and less private version of the Royals than we have previously known, and revitalising attitudes towards the nation.
Seven years on, Harry and Meghan’s impeding nuptials in spring 2018 once again puts Britain in the spotlight.
Millions of people worldwide will be following on TV and mobile devices and any savvy brand marketing team will already have ‘Operation 2018 Royal Wedding’ underway.
Love them or hate them, the Royal Family is one of the UK’s USPs and attracts huge interest globally.
The wedding of the fifth in line to the throne presents a huge opportunity to showcase the country at its finest – its attractions, culture and traditions.
Tourists will once again want to share in the fairytale by planning a visit to the UK in 2018 and beyond.
With an American bride-to-be, and the happy couple spending time together in Botswana early in their relationship, the effect will also be felt in the US and Africa.
We can’t wait to see how attractions and tourism bodies we work with like Visit Kent and Canterbury City Council will gear up for the celebrations. Imagine what a coup it would be if a Kent attraction was the first to host Harry and Meghan with all the kudos and attention that would bring!
As well as tourism, brands will be looking how to capitalise on the Big Day – last time we saw Royal Wedding clothes, crockery, party supplies, children’s toys, food and drink – you name it. There is huge potential for themed advertising, public relations, social media and promotional campaigns.
So come spring next year, there’s no question, we’ll all be popping a bottle of (English) sparkling and raising a glass to the newlyweds.