Queen's mourning draws heavy foreign visitors, boosts UK tourism
The tourism sector in UK seems to be doing brisk business as thousands of people are flocking to London from all around the world to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II.
According to Reuters news agency, the average rate for a hotel in London increased to $384 per night from $244 per night since the announcement of her death.
A London-based group-booking platform, Hotelplanner.com, has said that the occupancy levels could breach an all-time high of 95 per cent as more people are expected to pay tribute to the queen in the four days that her body lies in state ahead of her funeral on Monday.
It added that more than 60 per cent of travellers are from foreign countries.
Till Sunday night, many high-end hotels - Claridge's, the Connaught, The Dorchester, and the Berkeley in the upmarket Mayfair district - were sold out, Reuters said citing their websites.
“That’s not surprising when you consider that the eyes of the world really are on the capital and the media, dignitaries and members of the public, just like myself, who just want to be part of such a historic occasion,” Thomas Emanuel, senior director of hotel analytics firm STR, told AP news agency.
Apart from that, a weaker pound is also drawing people from abroad, providing much-needed respite to restaurants, pubs and museums who are still recovering from Covid pandemic and record levels of inflation.
“Speaking to our hospitality sector, not just our hotels, but restaurants, bars and pubs, they’ve had an awful three years because of this pandemic," London Mayor Sadiq Khan told AP news agency.
Experts argue that the spurt in footfall as a result of the mourning period could be limited, because a public holiday has been declared on Monday where supermarkets, retailers, hardware stores and other businesses have been ordered to close for the funeral.