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Royal wedding to spark influx of tourists from fast-growing countries

18 November 2010 by

The royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton is likely to spark a huge boost in tourism visits to the UK from the world's fastest-growing nations, according to VisitBritain.

The tourism body said its research had showed that the rapidly expanding BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are among the keenest to visit British places connected to the royal family.

The evidence comes from a VisitBritain poll of 25,000 potential foreign visitors commissioned by VisitBritain from the Anholt-GMI Nations Brand Index Survey, which assessed the appeal of countries as if they were commercial brands.

Designed to discover how powerful the theme of monarchy was in drawing people to this country, the survey asked would-be travellers how likely they were to visit places associated with the royal family.

The results show that the nations who were keenest on the idea were Russia, where 83% of respondents said they would go to royal sites, followed by Brazil on 79%, Malaysia on 76% and the Czech Republic on 75%.

They were followed by Poland (74%), Mexico (73%), South Africa (72%), India (71%), China (71%) and Singapore (70%). Around 57% of the USA sample said they were keen to visit royal sites - the lower figure is probably because Americans are more regular visitors to the UK and they have moved on to other attractions.

In a separate question, would-be visitors were also asked to rate out of seven how much they agreed with the statement: "I've always wanted to see Buckingham Palace."

Again, Russian people came out top, giving the idea the highest rating of 6. They were followed by Mexico and India (5.7), Hungary (5.6), China and Malaysia (5.5), Czech Republic (5.2) and Singapore (5.1).

VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: "The announcement of a royal wedding in 2011 has already generated a huge amount of publicity worldwide. This can only enhance the promising indications we have received that tourism to Britain from the BRIC countries and others is about to take off."

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By Neil Gerrard

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