While the British Royal Family has long been a source of fascination and admiration for many, their impact on the UK’s tourism and economy is a topic of debate. With the upcoming coronation, some tour operators have sold out of their packages, but the market for royal fans remains comparatively small. Visit Britain estimates a£1.2bn economic boost from the jubilee weekend, but most of that came from domestic visitors.
Heritage vs. Royalty
Britain’s heritage and history play a significant role in its £131bn tourist industry, but heritage is not the same as royalty. Visit Britain does not put a number on the value of having a royal family but acknowledges that it makes a difference in terms of ceremonials and family life events. The British monarchy was valued at £67.5 billion in 2017, making it one of the most valuable brands in the world.
The monarchy’s brand contributes £2.5 billion to the British economy each year, driven primarily by tourism. The royal family generates approximately £550 million annually for UK tourism. Royal warrants, which allow corporations to claim the monarch’s seal of approval, have led to a 10% boost in revenue on average for the roughly 800 British firms bearing the mark.
Brand Value and Public Perception
The death of Queen Elizabeth II may have had an impact on the brand value of the British royal family. The House of Windsor is estimated to be worth £19 billion ($28 billion), and their public perception and influence make them valuable. The Royal Family’s impact on British tourism and the economy is significant, with the Sovereign Grant contributed by UK taxpayers to the Crown.
Costs vs. Revenue
The Royal Household brings in hundreds of millions of pounds to Britain’s economy every year, with the monarchy generating close to 500 million pounds, or about $767 million, annually in tourism revenue. Tourism is the third-biggest industry in the UK, supporting about 2.6 million jobs. However, sustaining the royal family costs Britons 53 pence, or about 81 cents, per person, per year. The total cost was about 33.3 million pounds (about $51.1 million) for 2012-2013, according to Buckingham Palace. The group Republic claims the cost is about 200 million pounds, or $307 million, once factors like security detail and the cost of preparing for royal visits are considered.