The King’s Coronation is set to boost the UK economy by millions as the public splurges on souvenirs, pub trips and street parties.
Mr Haugh estimated that the total cost of the Coronation to the taxpayer will be about £200million, but this will be offset by the upsurge in tourism and spending power of the British public over the bank holiday weekend.
“The Royal Family is like a theme park or an attraction, people come to the UK to see them, to be part of a significant event in their lifetime,” he said.
Officials said the cost of the Coronation will not be released until after the event has concluded and taxpayers are likely to foot an increasingly large bill due to the need for widespread security and ancillary costs.
But Mr Haugh was adamant that the event will still provide a net increase for the economy.
King Charles’s coronation is set to boost the UK economy
The Queen’s Coronation in 1953
He said the Coronation will bring a “whole series of revenue lines”, with merchandise and food and drink being two key drivers, especially with the prospect of extended licensing hours.
The Government launched a public consultation last month on whether to relax licensing hours across England and Wales to mark the Coronation. It would allow licence hours to be extended from 11pm to 1am between Friday, May 5 and Sunday, May 7.
Parliament gave the green light for extended licensing hours for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last June, which provided a significant boost in revenue for pubs, bars and restaurants.
The four-day weekend is estimated to have had a £6.37bn boost from jubilee spending and tourism, with thousands of tourists travelling to the UK for the event and retailers selling out of jubilee-themed decorations, clothes and food. This is in addition to over one-fifth of Brits attending street parties.
Data from SumUp, a financial technology company based in London, shows entertainment venues recorded a 52 percent increase in transactions over the Jubilee weekend, with bars and clubs seeing their volume of trade increase by a fifth on the previous week.
King Charles at the state opening of parliament in May 2022
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee pageant
May’s extra Bank Holiday for the King’s Coronation is expected to have a similar negative economic impact, but Mr Haugh is convinced the event will bring in more money than is lost. He also said it is a key driver of publicity for the UK which will have an indirect impact on the economy.
Danni Hewson, a financial analyst at AJ Bell, agreed and said the Coronation is a “once in a lifetime event and the opportunity to ‘sell Britain’ to the world”.
She noted that Chinese tourists are likely to come in their droves, as relaxed Covid restrictions mean they can finally make the trip across the globe.
“People will come from far and wide to be part of history,” Ms Hewson said, and added: “[It’s] money into the economy at a time the economy most needs it.”
King Charles will be crowned on May 6 alongside the Queen Consort
London-based Clermont Hotel Group said they are already seeing a boost in bookings for the King’s Coronation weekend and CEO Jon Scott said “we expect revenues to improve versus last year” as a result.
He told Express.co.uk: “HotelPlanner expects that hotel occupancy will reach its absolute peak on May 5th and 6th in London centre as thousands of inbound travellers arrive, as well as foreign dignitaries, elected officials and their large entourages.
“There will also be a big demand for hotels in Windsor on May 7th for the Coronation Concert.”
Mr Hentschel noted that London hotel rates over the Coronation weekend are already up more than 100 percent compared to typical May weekend rates for four and five-star hotels.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was well attended
Both domestic and international visitors are expected to soak up the pomp and pageantry of the Coronation weekend, with VisitBritain anticipating a boost to royal heritage and culture sites.
Patricia Yates, CEO of Visit Britain, said they expect both domestic and international visitors to book days out, especially at historic sites and buildings, which could include Kensington Palace, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle.
The additional spring Bank Holiday for the Coronation is a welcome and valuable boost to the industry, kick-starting the season and providing tourism destinations with much needed-cash flow after the lean winter months,” she said.
Experts were quick to dismiss criticism that the Coronation is too extravagant amid the cost of living crisis, war in Ukraine and looming recession.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee took place in June 2022
Mr Haugh branded critics who claim the Coronation should be scaled down amid the cost of living crisis and looming recession as “ridiculous” and said “it is a totally false argument” as the event will produce an economic return.
This view was shared by Dr Cindy McCreery, a culture historian at Sydney University who specialises in the British Royal Family. She told this website that it’s “unfair” to criticise the cost of the event when the Firm has clearly tried to reduce the scale of the Coronation.
“There have been cuts made to the programme if you compare it to the Queen’s,” she said. “It’s far fewer people, it’s going to be much shorter. I think it’s a bit unfair to say they haven’t scaled back, they have.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK