How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: UK Tourism Contribution
Published on 27.05.2012 in Brand Finance Journal: Special Jubilee Issue
The heritage and culture of the United Kingdom is historically entwined with the Monarchy and is a major incentive for tourists to visit the country.
Top 10 attractions for Foreign Tourists
|1. Trafalgar Square||2. Tower Bridge|
|3. London Museums||4. Buckingham Palace|
|5. Oxford Street||6. The London Eye|
|7. Windsor Castle||8. Edinburgh Castle|
|9. Stonehenge||10. Globe Theatre,London|
For nearly 1000 years, with one small intermission following the Civil War, various dynastic houses have ruled the UK and in turn the monarchs and their governments have provided the nation with a vast collection of castles, palaces and other monuments. The effect that the Monarchy has had on the United Kingdom is so pronounced that a report by VisitBritain recently estimated that 12.5% of the top UK attractions are those linked to the institution.
Over the centuries the number of castles and palaces has naturally grown as each monarch left behind a legacy, for reasons either strategic or grandiose, on the nation’s landscape. Many are now no longer inhabited by the current Royals but still maintain a strong association with the Monarchy in the eyes of many international visitors, with the spirit kept alive by Royal appearances and ceremonies that re-ignite the spectacle. Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London are perhaps the best known examples of such historic buildings, of which see over 500,000 and 2 million visitors per year respectively.
The Royal Residences are open to the general public over a much shorter period, typically during the summer. Buckingham Palace is only open for eight weeks a year, but in this time the palace sees around 400,000 visitors. Built at the height of the British Empire, and more recently famed for the memories of newly married kisses on the balcony, the palace is a must-see attraction for many visitors to London. The ceremony is accentuated by the Queen’s Guard, with their famed Bearskin hats, and also offers an additional photo opportunity. These soldiers tasked with guarding the ruling monarch’s palaces have entered popular culture as a shining beacon of British tradition, as iconic as red phone boxes or double decker buses.
The various ceremonies and events attended by the Royal Family generate media attentionfrom the Commonwealth and round the world, providing hundreds of millions of pounds worthof free publicity for UK Tourism. While there are some scandals that harm the perception ofthe United Kingdom worldwide, the majority of the coverage delivers a positive message which encourages goodwill for the country. The state visits carried out by many royals, are equally valuable as shown by Prince Harry’s recent trips to the Caribbean and South America. His modern approach, along with his breach of protocol to hug the openly Republican Prime Minister of Jamaica provided news stories and publicity to an international audience, not just in the UK and Jamaica.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, a feat not managed since Queen Victoria in 1896, is undoubtedly causing a surge of interest in the Royal Family. The Royal Wedding in 2011 was a new beginning for regal spectacles. As a show of elegance for the Jubilee there will be a flotilla of 1,000 ships slowly touring down the Thames from Hammersmith to the Old Royal Naval College. The procession will be led by the Gloriana, a 90ft oared galley, and will pass under 14 road bridges alone its route. The entire £10 million cost of the Flotilla will be privately funded, with the government imposing a further £2 million as a 20% VAT levy.
Additional tourists to the capital, extra merchandise sales, waves of new visitors to Royal Palaces and pervasive media coverage will all provide a combined boost which Brand Finance values will be more significant to the British economy than William and Catherine’s wedding in 2011.
The Economic Benefit of The Royal Wedding
The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on the 29th April 2011 was watched by an estimated 2 billion people worldwide. A dazzling display, images of the ceremony at Westminster Abbey and the appearances on Buckingham Palace’s balcony have become part of modern history.
As national and international tourists cameto central London, retailers encouraged a spending bonanza with celebratory merchandise and memorabilia contributing to the spirit of the event. As well, an extra Bank Holiday, announced by the government, gave everyone another day off work.
The goodwill value of the Royal Wedding is difficult to gauge but both PwC and Verdict released estimated figures on how the wedding would affect the economy. PwC said £107million to London alone, while Verdict came to £620million for the total British economy.
The reports analysed figures for the boost in revenue to accommodation, travel, night life and shopping, as well as the negative impact of extra time off. This year’s Diamond Jubilee is set to eclipse last year’s event, with more celebrations planned and visitors expected. But, as with any extra bank holiday, the festivities have a financial burden, which the Department of Culture Media and Sports estimate at a net loss to the UK economy of £1.2bn.
The popularity of the Monarchy soared during the Royal Wedding and increased the country’s profile internationally. A YouGov poll found that 73% thought the wedding had a positive effect on how people view Britain, and 70% felt the same about how people view the Queen and her family.
An unrecognised benefit of the Monarchy is the publicity from the world’s media. This is often ignored when the impacts of the Wedding, or even this year’s Jubilee, are quantified. While the Royal Family is not all the UK has to offer, it is a significant element which attracts tourists to the UK for very special experience.
The Royal Wedding in Numbers
|People watching TV coverage in the UK||24.5 Million||Power surgeimmediately afterwedding service||2400MW|
|Length of train||2.7 Metres||Road closurerequests for streetparties||5500|
|Length of buntingsold by Tesco||120 miles||Sugar paste flowerson wedding cake||900|
|Weight of rubbish||140 tonnes||Police on duty||5000|
|Estimated costof policing||£10 Million||Estimatedmerchandise sales||£44 Million|
|Estimated foodsales||£360 Million||Estimated traveland tourismrevenues||£216 Million|
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More from this issue
- Introduction: Understanding the value of the British Monarchy as a brand
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: Basic Concepts
- Brand Value: Queen Elizabeth II
- Brand Value: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
- Brand Value: Charles, Prince of Wales
- Brand Value: William, Duke of Cambridge
- Brand Value: Prince Henry of Wales
- Brand Value: Anne, Princess Royal
- Brand Value: Prince Andrew, Duke of York
- Brand Value: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: Public Opinion
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: Royal Finances
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: Detailed Analysis
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: UK Trade Contribution
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: UK Tourism Contribution
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: Coats of Arms
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: Royal Warrants
- How we Valued the Monarchy as a Brand: Royalties
- Brand Value: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
- Brand Value: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
- Brand Value: Sophie, Countess of Wessex
- The Order of Succession to the Throne
- Editorial - by Edgar Baum on Canadian Brands