Royal wedding spurs U.K. tourism campaign
The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton may be a single-day event, but the British tourism industry is banking that it will pay dividends for years to come.
Days after the April 29 ceremony, the country will invest in a glitzy $150-million campaign to lure tourists from abroad. Visit Britain, the country's official promoter, hopes that memories surrounding the wedding will persuade people to visit.
"Obviously big congrats to the couple, but on a whole grand scope of things, this is a fantastic opportunity to market Britain," Visit Britain spokesman Mark Di-Toro told CBC journalist Nahlah Ayed.
With the wedding expected to draw huge numbers of television viewers, marketers say it will be an effective advertisement for the country.
"The royal wedding is a gift — it's an accelerator. It takes the brand of Great Britain up people's consideration list. The key is everything else you do after that," says Zaid Al-Zaidy, marketing specialist at the U.K.-based marketing firm TBWA.
As London School of Economics professor Tim Leunig cautions, the strategy will work only if the country meets visitor expectations.
"The pitfalls are that they will discover that London is a great city, but like every great city it's not perfect. It's pretty expensive to visit London and the weather isn't particular wonderful," he says.