Royal baby fever sees travel to London boom
The UK is set to see visitors flock to the capital this month in anticipation of the birth of the Royal baby. According to lastminute.com, Europe’s number one go-to site for last minute bookings, flight bookings into London have increased by almost a fifth (17%) and hotel bookings in the last week of June have already increased by 13%. lastminute.com has also predicted that the latest addition to the Royal family will boost the capital’s hospitality market, with sales of London hotel rooms set to rise by at least 30% in the weeks surrounding the birth.
Since Kate and William’s fairy tale wedding in 2011, a new found excitement for the British Royal Family has been marked by an uplift in tourist trips to the capital and it seems the Royal baby is no exception. Interestingly, Italians seem most excited about the arrival of the third in line to the throne, with flights from Italy into London up a huge 118% year on year. The French are also keen to be in town for the birth with flight bookings over the Channel up 12%.
However, it seems those at home are less excited about the Royal arrival. lastminute.com has also revealed a 41% year on year increase in Londoners booking trips out of the capital next week to popular destinations. It seems, residents of London are choosing to escape the baby hubbub by getting away abroad, with Barcelona and Amsterdam being the top baby-escapes – stays at these destinations for trips starting next week are up 37% and 13% respectively.
Mark Maddock, Managing Director of lastminute.com UK and Ireland says, “Our booking trends suggest that Royal fever shows no sign of slowing down. Whether jetting in from overseas or escaping the madness of the capital altogether, it isn’t everyday a future King or Queen is born and the ripples are already being felt in travel. London is a fantastic city to visit at any time, but the excitement of a Royal baby is providing an extra special reason to stay this July.”