The Royal Family in 2016 – Are They Really Worth the Money?

As a series of lavish ceremonies are held to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, new research has been released that investigates whether the Royal Family are worth the £37.9 million it costs UK taxpayers to keep them.

Travelzoo’s global survey of tourists* revealed that Italians are the biggest supporters of the Queen, with over half (59%) citing the Royal family as one of the factors that makes the UK an attractive holiday destination. Nearly half of Canadian (49%) and US travellers (48%) are also drawn to Britain because of the Queen and the Royal family, but not everyone is as enthralled – just 19% of German, 15% of French and only 10% of Spanish travellers want to come to the UK because of the British monarchy.

US visitors contribute 7% of inbound tourism spend in the UK*, while French, German, Italian and Spanish travellers contribute nearly a third (29%) – a combined £7.7 billion between them.

“The UK makes £106 billion from tourism each year – 3,000 times more than UK taxpayers spend on keeping the Royal Family – and there's no denying that the Queen and the Royal Family play a role in making Britain a more appealing travel destination,” said Louise Hodges, Travelzoo’s European Head of Communications.

With history and heritage emerging as the biggest reason for visiting Britain, followed by the UK’s vibrant cities, landscape and coastlines, the Travelzoo study also asked its respondents if they believed the Queen and Royal Family played an important part in the UK’s tourism industry; 70% said yes, which, Hodges says, speaks volumes: “Buckingham Palace and the Royal Palaces have been in the top-10 UK tourist attractions for decades now, attracting a record 2.5 million paying visitors in 2014, and contributing £55 million to the UK economy. As celebrations for the Queen’s birthday come to a close this weekend, it’s great to see that Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is still as important today as when she came to the throne in 1952.”

*About the research

Travelzoo’s survey was conducted using an online questionnaire in the five largest European Union member states by population, and the US and Canada. The questionnaire was completed by 4,950 Travelzoo members across France, Spain, Germany, the US and Canada. For the UK and Italy, Travelzoo commissioned independent research, with Atomik Research surveying 2,004 consumers in the UK and 1,003 consumers in Italy.

Tourist spending figures calculated using VisitBritain’s Inbound Tourism Reports:


About Travelzoo

Travelzoo is a global media commerce company. With more than 28 million members in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and 25 offices worldwide, Travelzoo® publishes offers from more than 2,000 travel, entertainment and local companies. Travelzoo’s deal experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.

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