UK travel: Football tourists boosting economy – ‘our national game is a massive draw’

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VisitBritain’s latest research has revealed how important football is to the UK. There were 1.5 million “football tourists” in 2019, who spent a staggering £1.4 billion during their trip.

Football tourists are an integral part of tourism in the UK.

They were recognised as spending longer and more money than other types of travellers.

On average, football fans spent £909 per visit and stayed 10 nights.

Whether football fans travelled to the UK for a game or went to a game as part of another trip, football has proved it was an integral part of many tourists’ itineraries.

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Football was the most popular live sporting event for international tourists to the UK, which was not surprising, according to Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston.

He said: “Our national game is a massive draw for visitors that want to come and watch top-class football from some of the best leagues in the world.

“Football tourists boost local economies during the off-peak tourism season supporting restaurants, hotels and hospitality venues.

“I will continue to work closely with VisitBritain, the Premier League and the EFL to keep up this momentum.”

Football tourists spend a lot of time in the country, and their trips are not just about “our national game”.

They spent time visiting famous monuments and buildings and ate at restaurants.

Surprisingly, football tourists were the most likely to visit famous landmarks and eat out.

With so many international tourists going to a football game in the UK, the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said the League was “proud” of its impact on the UK economy.

Richard said: “The Premier League and its clubs provide competitive football, featuring the world’s best players and managers, in front of brilliant fans.

“We are very proud of the positive impact the League has on both national and local economies.

“Seeing the competition in action is fantastic and we look forward to welcoming more international visitors to our stadiums in the future.”

Football tourists were most likely to be from three nations.

175,000 tourists were from Ireland, 126,000 from Germany and 113,000 from the USA.

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