Football tourists flock to UK

Steve Dinneen
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MORE than 750,000 tourists watched a Premier League football match last year, splashing out an eye-watering £595m.

Big spending football fans part with an average of £776 each, well above the average for all inbound visitors of £563.

Norwegians are most likely to come to watch Premier League football, with one in thirteen of their tourists going to a match during their stay, followed by visits from the UAE.

The most popular grounds are Old Trafford, with 15 per cent of the total, followed by Anfield and the Emirates Stadium.

Around 40 per cent of those going to a football match said that watching sport was the main reason for visiting the UK.

Football tourism also attracts people to the UK outside of the usual holiday period, with the majority of visits taking place between January and March.

VisitBritain says the research, carried out by the national tourism agency, is the first demonstration of the Premier League’s ability to drive tourism in the UK.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said the number of football tourists is “very encouraging”.

Patricia Yates, director of strategy at VisitBritain added: “Not only do some of the best players in the world want to play in Britain, but their international fans want to follow them here.

“Our partnership with the Premier League has enabled us to use football to connect with fans all around the world.”