800,000 tourists watch football matches in Britain - Get updated on what's happening in tourism!

800,000 tourists watch football matches in Britain
The 800,000 people who attended a football match while visiting Britain last year spent a total of £684 million during their stay, new figures show.
800,000 tourists watch football matches in Britain

Manchester United's Old Trafford and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium were the most popular venues, both receiving 109,000 international visits.

While the overall average spend by international visitors as a whole was £636, the figure rose to £855 for those who included an afternoon or evening at the football in their itinerary.

The research was carried out by the Office for National Statistics on behalf of VisitBritain as part of the I nternational Passenger Survey.

Almost three quarters (73%) of visitors who gave their primary journey purpose as watching sport said they had attended a football match.

North-west England was the region that received the highest proportion of football-driven visits, with one in 10 tourists in the area going to a game.

This was followed by one in 20 in the North East and one in 40 in Wales.

Of the 800,000 who went to a game, 40,000 were business travellers.

The country at the top of the table for where the soccer fans came from was the Republic of Ireland with 121,000 people.

Norway took the runner-up spot with 93,000 visitors, while Sweden was third with 58,000.

VisitBritain has a partnership with the English Premier League to encourage visitors from around the world to come to Britain and watch a live match.

The league's chief executive Richard Scudamore said: " The Premier League is proud of its role in promoting Britain across the world.

"There are 1.2 billion people across the globe who are fans of the league and we want to engage with as many of them as possible."

Tourism minister Tracey Crouch said: "It's fantastic to see the positive role football is playing in showcasing key destinations in many different regions of the UK."

VisitBritain chief executive Sally Balcombe said: "Our ambition is to convert the global interest in football and the Barclays Premier League into even more international visits to all regions across Britain.

"We'll do this by continuing to target consumers in key markets around the world with our Football is Great campaign and showcasing the key destinations that are home to the Premier League clubs, such as the North East, North West, Midlands, London and Wales."

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