PwC: The economic impact of the Royal Wedding
An extensive survey of UK adults reveals the economic impact of the Royal Wedding. PwC conducted the research as part of an ongoing project to monitor the economic impact of large events in the capital in the run up to the Olympic Games next year.
• Some 550,000 people will experience the event in person in the Westminster environs, nearly a million plan to watch it in on big screen and over twenty million will favour the convivial experience of huddling round a television. Half a million will watch it on the internet and 51,000 will watch it on a mobile phone.
• 295,000 Londoners travel into Central London to experience the event.
• Time off: Over six million adults will be taking extra holidays to make the most of the confluence of Easter, the bank holidays and the Royal Wedding. Workers from London (17%) and the West Midlands (17%) being the most likely to do this, while employee from the South West (7%) and Scotland (9%) the least likely.
• Economic benefit: PwC calculates the commercial benefit to London from visitors’ expenditure to be £107 million.
• 560, 000 adults are travelling to London from around the UK for the wedding - regional groupings ranging from 69,000 from Scotland to 17,000 from North East England. While the vast majority will be travelling with friends or family, over 50,000 will be travelling alone.
• Travel: Travellers choose car, tube and train as the most popular form of transport to get to (Central) London for the wedding. Interestingly, the bicycle is a more popular choice of transport than the bus.
• 37% of visitors will stay only for the day, but one in five intends to stay for two nights. Men intend to stay longer than women.
• Accommodation: 185,000 people will stay in hotels, 50,000 in B&Bs. 18,000 will stay with friends.
• A quarter of the visitors will spend between £50 and £75 a night on accommodation. One in five will spend between £100 and £149. Over 20, 000 people will spend upwards of £300 a night.
• Shopping: Over two-thirds of visitors will go shopping while they are here and well over half intend to visit bars, clubs and restaurants. 58% say they will visit tourist attractions while they are in London, with 36% of visitors budgeting to spend between £75 and £99 per person per day on tourist attractions.
• Shopping centres (eg. Westfield Centre, Brent Cross) will be the most popular shopping destinations followed by famous shopping streets (eg. Oxford Street, Carnaby Street) followed by well known street markets (eg. Portobello Road, Brick Lane).
• One in five people have budgeted £75-£99 for shopping per day while, at the more extravagant end, 13% say they have budgeted £200-299 per day.
• The night economy: 60% of people intend to go to the pub, 45% are going to nightclubs, 40% will go to restaurants, 26% to theatres, 24% to cinemas and 7% to casinos.
• Finally, when asked what they would spend their royal wedding budget on if they weren’t travelling to the wedding, 35% said general living expenses which may lead some to conclude the boost for the London business will be counterbalanced by a negative impact elsewhere. 27% said they would put the money into savings and one in four said they would make debt repayments or pay off credit card bills.
Mark Ambler, economist at PwC, said: “Our survey suggests that the wedding will be a great economic boost for London’s economy and a good indicator of the potential economic benefits of the Olympic games when more than ten times this number of visitors is expected.”