Arsenal and Manchester United most popular destinations for overseas Premier League fans, who add £700m to UK economy

Joe Hall
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Old Trafford was one of the most popular destinations for Manchester United fans (Source: Getty)

Football fans travelling from abroad to watch live Premier League football add £684m to the UK economy, according to a new study.

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Around 800,000 overseas fans paid for Premier League tickets in 2014 - an increase of 50,000 in five years.

According to research from national tourism agency VisitBritain, visits to the country which included a trip to the football had an average spend of £855, compared to an average of £636 on those without.

And Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium - the homes of Manchester United and Arsenal - were the most popular destinations for travelling fans, with 109,000 international visits each in 2014.

Since 2010, Arsenal has overtaken Liverpool as the second most popular destination with a 24 per cent rise in international supporters.

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The report highlighted football's role in attracting tourists during quieter times of the year, dragging them away from the capital.

One in 10 trips by international visitors to the North East, home of historic and current giants of the game such as Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton and Manchester United, included watching live football, compared to around one in 40 in London.

Tourism minister Tracey Crouch said:

Millions of overseas tourists visit the UK every year and most take in the sights of London. But Britain has so much more to offer so it's fantastic to see the positive role football is playing in showcasing key destinations in many different regions of the UK. It's great for local economies, great for football and great for the UK's tourism industry.

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