The royal baby and tourism
So the Duchess of Cambridge finally gave birth to a baby girl over the weekend, an announcement heralded not just in Britain, where the royal family remains popular, but also here in the United States, where they are also popular.
So it’s no suprirse an email from the London Pass arrived in my inbox less than 48 hours later touting the benefits of their pass related to royal attractions like Windsor Castle and Kennsington Palace.
“The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Royal Wedding and the arrival of the second Royal Baby, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, over the last few years seem to have added new zest to America's enduring love affair with the British Monarchy - at least that's what the behavior of US tourists in London suggests.
Leading attractions card the London Pass (www.londonpass.com) monitored the sightseeing choices of its customers – international visitors to the UK's capital – for a whole year. Data recorded through the pass's smartcard technology showed that in 2014, 23% of all visits to sites with Royal connections (including Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace) were made by visitors from the United States. Americans represented 19% of visits to all London Pass attractions, so the higher percentage point for Royal sites identifies them as a key draw for US tourists.
The proportion of visits to Royal-related attractions by American London Pass holders has grown significantly since 2011, and last year the most popular Royal site with visitors from across the Atlantic was the Tower of London, followed by Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle.
"It's often said that American tourists are fascinated by the British Royals, and the sightseeing patterns of our customers confirm this," said Amanda Truman, Director Product Marketing for the London Pass. "We hope that the new Royal baby will bring even more visitors from the US to London.
A three-day London Pass is priced at ?85 per adult and ?59 per child (aged 5-15), and a six day pass at ?116 per adult and ?80 per child (aged 5-15). London Pass holders save money and time on city sightseeing. The card also includes queue-jumping privileges at a number of other sought-after city attractions, ensuring that travelers spend less time waiting to gain entry, and more time enjoying their chosen experience.
I’ve actually used the London Pass and though it is priced at a somehwat unpleasant 85 pounds (about $127 US). The best thing about it is you can get fast track admissions to a few of the attractions, like Westminster Abbey, that usually have long waits. It’s especially useful in peak season when hordes of travelers descend on London. The fast track feature is also helpful when you’re trying to squeeze in a ton of sights in a short period of time.
Bottom line: It’s worth the time to see if you can get your money out of the Pass before you go. If you’re into just soaking up the ambiance of the city while sprinking in a few notable sights, it’s probably not a great deal. But if you’re in full Clark Griswold mode, trying to see as much as possible within a limited time frame, it’s worth having.