Attractions industry news
23 Oct 2012
Football tourism worth £706m to British economy
Figures released by national tourism agency VisitBritain show that nearly one million overseas visitors attended a game of football in the UK last year.
It is estimated that foreign football tourists spent around £706m, the equivalent of £785 per fan and £200 more than the average 'non-football' visitor (£583). Around 40 per cent of foreign fans going to a football match said that watching sport was the main reason for visiting the UK.
The global appeal of the English Premier League (EPL) was further strengthened when VisitBritain joined forces with the EPL back in 2008 to help promote the home of football in key overseas tourism markets using links to - and testimonials from - Premier League players and clubs.
There is also clear evidence that it is not only London which benefits from football tourism. Nearly 20 per cent of visitors who entered the country to see a game went to Old Trafford in Manchester, followed closely by Anfield in Liverpool.
Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain, said: "Our partnership with the Premier League not only highlights the value of sports tourism to the UK economy, but it also helps drive inbound visits by inspiring travel to the UK at traditionally quieter times of the year."
Minister for Sport and Tourism Hugh Robertson added: "The Premier League is one of this country's most successful exports and known the world over. It is no surprise that it has become a big draw for tourists who want to experience the most exciting league in the world in person.
"VisitBritain and the Premier League's partnership is also showing overseas fans what more our country has to offer, helping to drive strong tourist spend."