DETRACTORS say the Royal Wedding could cost the UK economy up to £30bn. But a new survey from PwC claims that the nuptials will also have an economic upside.
Visitors to the capital determined to share in the carnival atmosphere will be splashing out an estimated £107m while they celebrate. Around 560,000 people will flock to London from other parts of the UK to watch William and Kate tie the knot on Friday.
Businesses remaining open in the Westminster area could see the biggest revenue boost, with over half a million people expected to gather there. Bars, hotels and transport companies servicing London will also receive a welcome upturn in business, as will major shopping centres including Westfield and Brent Cross.
Over 1m people will watch the event on big screens around the country. The small screen will also see a big audience spike, with 20m people planning to huddle round the TV for the event. The global forecast for the number of people watching when Kate says “I do” is an astonishing 2bn.
Analysts at PwC say the figures bode well for London’s performance during the Olympic Games.
Mark Ambler, PwC economist, said: “Our survey suggests that the wedding will be a great economic boost for London’s economy and a good indicator of the potential economic benefits of the Olympic games when more than ten times this number of visitors is expected.”
But others are more gloomy. The timing of the wedding, which falls after a late Easter, gives people the chance to bag 11 days off for just three days of holiday. Economists say that if everyone takes the full 11 days it will cost £30bn in lost productivity.