Football is the number one sporting draw for international tourists to Britain and VisitBritain’s director, Patricia Yates, said that Leicester could expect a visitor boost with the city now on the “global football tourism map”.
She said: “Leicester City’s fantastic win is truly the stuff of legends and has thrust the players, the fans, the city and Britain as the ‘home of football’ into the global spotlight.”
Leicester City officially won the Premier League on Monday night (2 May) after second-placed Tottenham failed to beat Chelsea. Prior to the season Leicester were ranked as 5,000-1 outsiders, with pundits hailing the title triumph as one of the biggest shocks in sporting history.
Yates added: “Football has mass international appeal and a global fan base of billions and we know that people like to visit the home of their sporting heroes.
“We encourage visitors from all over the world to travel to Britain and enjoy a Barclays Premier League football match with our Football is GREAT campaign, as part of our drive to get tourists out exploring more of regional Britain.”
VisitBritain’s 2015 report – ‘Football tourism scores for Britain’ – highlighted the valuable role of the Premier League has as a global draw for visitors to Britain and its importance in attracting visitors outside the peak summer season.
It showed that, in 2014, 800,000 international visitors went to a football match during their trip – almost one in every 43 visitors, and up 7% from 2010.
Meanwhile, visitors who attended a football match as part of their trip spent £684m, an average of £855, compared with £628 for visitors who did not attend a match.
Overall, Leicester received 155,000 international visits in 2014 with numbers showing steady increases, with 130,000 visits in 2012 and 145,000 in 2013. Visits to the East Midlands region were up 15% to 881,000 in the first nine months of 2015.