Americans in the lead as the Coronation spurs a tourism boom for Britain

Tourists try on Union flag sun hats in central London on Friday as the city prepares for the King’s Coronation – SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP

Tourists from North America who want to catch a glimpse of the new King are leading a travel boom to the UK ahead of the Coronation weekend.

The number of US travelers booking flights to the UK in the run-up to the Coronation is more than a tenth of pre-pandemic levels.

The data provided by travel industry analysts ForwardKeys showed that, as at 28 April, the number of US travelers booking flights to the UK between 27 April and 8 May had increased by 14 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 .

Enthusiasm has also increased in recent weeks, with the number of Americans booked to travel to the UK up 10 per cent in early April.

Coronation weekend will bring hundreds of thousands of people to Central London, with more than 1.75 million expected to visit London’s West End – 24 per cent higher than a typical Bank Holiday weekend.

Laura Citron, Chief Executive of Visit London, said she expected many of these to be foreign visitors as the Coronation was a major draw for such travellers.

She said: “We’ve seen a huge increase in bookings from around the world – with very strong interest from markets like the US.”

Travel to London for the Coronation was particularly attractive to Denver residents, with an 87 percent increase in the number of people booking from the Colorado city compared to 2019, the figures show.

Miami was the second most enthusiastic city, with a 66 percent jump followed by Houston with a 32 percent increase. ForwardKeys said it was unable to share the number of bookings for contractual reasons with its data provider.

Visitors flocked to Central London ahead of the Coronation - Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg

Visitors flocked to Central London ahead of the Coronation – Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg

A joyous occasion – with plenty of notice

Olivier Ponti, Vice President of Insights at ForwardKeys, said: “From a tourism perspective, the coronation of King Charles will be unrivaled in its ability to attract heads of state; it will be very good for domestic tourism to London, and it will be a bit positive for international tourism with the US visitors being the most significant impact.”

It comes as data from Cirium showed that May 5 was one of the busiest days for inbound flights to the UK since the pandemic began, beaten only by June 10 last year.

A total of 2,877 flights were scheduled to land at UK airports on May 5, carrying around 500,000 travellers.

It is one of the busiest weeks for inbound travel since the pandemic, with 18,881 flights scheduled between May 1 and May 7, which is 10 percent higher than the same period last year.

Mr Ponti said: “The coronation will attract more visitors than the death of the late Queen, partly because it is a joyous occasion… [but] more so because several months’ notice has been given, during which time visitors could book their trip.”

Tom Jenkins, chairman of the European Tourism Alliance, said he did not think the increase was a direct result of the Corona, but said it was part of a big increase in post-Covid city tourism from American travelers.

He told the Telegraph: “City tourism is recovering across Europe, with a particular boom in the United States.

“The ten percent increase in the UK from 2019 for North America is not surprising, as similar figures are seen in the rest of Europe.”

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