The upcoming marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will feature a “potent mix” that could boost UK tourism, according to an industry boss.
Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, said interest from the US could be greater than when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot in April 2011 because Ms Markle is American.
He told the Press Association: “The number one reason overseas visitors come to the UK is our history, our heritage and our pageantry.
“Royalty is absolutely key to all of that.
“It’s one of the most important drivers for American visitors to come to Britain.
“The combination of Prince Harry’s global fame, Meghan Markle’s global fame as an actress, her being American, Britain being much more affordable than it was two years ago, really makes for a potent mix.
“This is the first time an American actress has married a prince since Grace Kelly.”
The number of people visiting the UK from North America has already grown by 17% over the past 12 months as the pound has weakened against the US dollar.
London welcomed an additional 600,000 visitors when William and Kate married at Westminster Abbey, with around 40% coming from overseas.
Accountancy firm PwC estimated the wedding was worth about £107 million in commercial benefits to the capital.
Mr Donoghue said royal weddings are “brilliant for tourism because they are joyous and happy”.
He added: “They are always a good opportunity to show Britain at its finest around the world.”
“The Royal Family are so important for tourism in London.
“2016 was a record year for the number of international visitors into London, and royal heritage was a big part of driving that.”
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