Royal fans have experienced flag-lined streets, pompous processions in the heart of London and, above all, have dared to queue miles long for the chance to say goodbye for a lifetime. Queen Elizabeth II, who died after an unprecedented seven decades on the throne. And while they are here, they are packing up hotels, restaurants and shops.
Visitors from as far away as the US and India in central London for a historic moment are fueling businesses at a time when the British economy is facing a fuel crunch from the highest level inflation More predictions to come in four decades recession,
“It’s history, you know, it happens once in a lifetime,” said Kanakkanta Benedict, who had come from India with his wife and entered in front of the queen’s flag-wrapped coffin this week. “So we became a part of it.”
pomp and spectacle. leads to Funeral of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch underscored the power of the royal family as a global attraction, drawing live spectators from around the world from an elaborate military procession for his crown-topped coffin to the piles of flowers that fill Green Park near Buckingham Palace and Souvenirs celebrating the life of the Queen were churned out in gift shops. People shout for souvenirs.
Thousands are expected to pay tribute to the Queen over the four days that her body lay in the kingdom ahead of her state funeral on Monday, prompting demand for hotel rooms in central London that in some cases have doubled the price. .
Hundreds of world leaders from US President Joe Biden to the Emperor and Empress of Japan as well as their peers to attend the Queen’s funeral are in need of places to stay. So do police officers from across the UK to help with security.
According to Hotelplanner.com, a London-based group-booking platform, occupancy levels could reach an all-time high of 95%.
Thomas Emanuel said, “It is not surprising when you consider that the eyes of the world are really on the capital and the media, dignitaries and members of the public who just like me want to be part of such a historic occasion.” ” Senior director of hotel analytics firm STR.
All 35 rooms of the two-star Corbigo Hotel in London’s Victoria neighborhood, nearby Buckingham Palacewas booked, duty manager Riyaz Badar said.
“Nowadays, not only our hotels in this area but all hotels in this area are full of rooms,” Badar said.
On the Thames, the Riverside Café, next to the miles-long, round-the-clock line to catch a glimpse of the Queen’s coffin, has been “extremely busy”, said manager Zab Istanik. It’s opening at 7 a.m., two hours earlier than usual
“We were busy like this when Queen Mum passed away in 2002. But it wasn’t as busy as this week…” Istanik said.
Also on the way, Jason Rich’s food stall, irrigated Buy Plants was doing a brisk business of selling lentil burgers.
“It’s a long queue,” Rich said. “So it definitely had a nice boost on the business.”
Britain was already an attractive place to travel as demand for international travel decreased. COVID-19 The pandemic and the weakening pound, especially for American visitors, make transatlantic travel more affordable.
University professor Chad Broughton, 51, who was traveling from Chicago to London with two friends after a long pandemic delay, said his hotel room in the tourist-heavy Covent Garden neighborhood costs £400 ($456) a night. Why was it?
But the trip to London was unique. “Seeing all these people queuing up, seeing the reaction on the BBC, and just feeling it, gives you an idea of how important it is to the people here,” he said.
In addition, costs were offset by currency depreciation, said friend Josh Walsman.
“We’ve found everything has a pretty surprising value,” said Walsman, 51, the musician. Westminster HallWhere mourners inside paid tribute to the queen and outside tourists posed for photographs on roads closed to traffic.
Walsman said he went to a Champions League soccer match, had tickets to a play and a dinner reservation at the expensive Cinnamon Club Indian restaurant.
“We are mostly spending our money in pubs,” he said. “The conversion rate means that every time a bill comes in, he’s like, ‘Oh, I thought it was about 30% higher.'”
The pound fell to a 37-year low against the dollar on Friday after Britain’s retail sales volume fell more than expected in August – a new sign of economic weakness.
Britain’s economy grapples with rising energy prices due to Russia’s war Ukraine, is driving the worst living crisis in a generation. The government said it would limit energy bills for homes and businesses, but prices are still too high. Inflation is the highest in the group of seven economies at 9.9%.
With that backdrop, the money being spent by the visitors showed a glimmer of hope.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said, “Speaking of our hospitality sector, not only in our hotels, but in restaurants, bars and pubs, they have suffered three years because of this pandemic.”
Budget hotel operator Travelodge said it has ordered additional breakfast supplies for 78 of its London hotels for Monday, hoping many mourners will start their day with a “traditional full English” breakfast. Pub chain JD Weatherspoon says it will keep its pubs open in central London on Monday during the Queen’s funeral.
Some analysts predict that the period of royal mourning will limit overall economic growth for Britain. That’s because it will be offset by supermarkets, retailers, hardware stores and other businesses closing for funerals on Monday, which has been made a public holiday.
However, Tim Henschel, co-founder and CEO of Hotelplanner.com, said the renewed interest in the royal family could give the travel and tourism industry an extended boost.
“Yeah, short term, the bank holiday will probably cut into productivity a little bit,” Hentschel said. But “the overall momentum the UK is going to get from all the tourism coming here over the next few days and then over the next few months will be much more than a short-term loss”.