Soccer Fans Biggest Spending Tourists in Britain

August 19, 2011

Soccer fans are the biggest spending tourists in Britain, order according to VisitBritain, the national tourism agency.

More than 750,000 people came to Britain to watch Premier League matches last year and they spent, on average, 38 percent more than other tourists at US$980 million.

Manchester United’s Old Trafford was the most-visited stadium, drawing 114,000 overseas fans. Liverpool’s Anfield (89,000), Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium (88,000), Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge (54,000) and Tottenham’s White Hart Lane (38,000) rounded out the top-five destinations.

Richard Scudamore, chief executive officer of the Premier League, said in a statement: “Nothing quite beats the excitement of match day, being inside a full Premier League ground and seeing a competitive match in the flesh, so it’s very encouraging to hear that so many international visitors want to experience football in this country.”

About 40 percent of visitors going to a match said attending a sporting event was the main reason for their trip. The largest number of visitors came from Ireland (164,000), followed by Norway (77,000), USA (56,000), the Netherlands (41,000) and Germany (39,000).