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Visit to UK castles, palaces top tourists' wish list

Dubai, January 23, 2011

A tour of a Welsh castle, a visit to Buckingham Palace and a stay in a Scottish Castle are the top three things foreign tourists want to do during a visit to the UK, results from a new report showed.

The “The Appeal of Only-In-Britain Activities” report, based on exclusive research commissioned by VisitBritain following the 2010 Nation Brands Index, involved questioning more than 10,000 tourists in over 20 countries including Egypt, Russia, India, Canada, China, and the United States. Tourists were given a list of 18 things to do in the UK and were asked to choose the most appealing.

The Top Five wish list of activities are: Going on a tour of the castles of Wales (34 per cent), going on a tour around Buckingham Palace (32 per cent), spending a night in a Scottish castle (29.1 per cent) and watching the sunrise at Stonehenge (28.9 per cent). Watching an English Premier League football match (19 per cent) was equal to shopping in Harrods (19 per cent) with Egyptians showing the greatest desire to visit Harrods (41 per cent), followed by the Swedes (31 per cent) and the French (28 per cent).

“The results of this report show how powerful British culture and heritage is in attracting foreign tourists. With the upcoming Royal Wedding and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen’s Jubilee, these results reinforce the fact that Britain continues to welcome visitors from the Middle East and beyond,” stated Carol Maddison, marketing manager, VisitBritain UAE.

Insights include new evidence that history and culture – particularly when linked to the British Monarchy – is a crucial part of the country’s unique appeal as a holiday destination. Russians were keenest to tour Buckingham Palace with over 54 per cent choosing it. The Japanese (45 per cent), Chinese (42 per cent), Polish (42 per cent) and Indians (38 per cent) also had high aspirations to visit.

The highest percentage of visitors wanting to watch an English Premier League game came from Egypt with 32 per cent and then Turkey with 30 per cent and this idea proved more popular with the 18-24 year olds than the over 65s (22 per cent versus 9 per cent). Watching the game proved more popular among men (27 per cent) than women (8 per cent) – while 24 per cent of women prefer to spend their time in Harrods versus 14 per cent of men.

Touring the castles of Wales had strong appeal in almost all markets, with Poland (49 per cent), Russia (48 per cent), Italy (46 per cent), and Germany (44 per cent) scoring the highest. Around 41 per cent of Russian would-be tourists also said they were keen to watch the sunrise at Stonehenge – and this was almost equal in appeal to all age groups although the over 65s were especially keen to see it.

Slightly more likely to plump for sightseeing famous and historic buildings such as embarking on a tour of Welsh castles are women (38 per cent), versus (31 per cent) of men. 

Movie fans from South Korea perhaps had the most interesting wish on their list with 18 per cent stating a trip to the UK would not be complete without a visit to locations of Harry Potter films, their second choice behind a tour of Buckingham Palace.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: travel | destination | Holiday | VisitBritain | UK tourism | palaces | castles |

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