A survey conducted by VisitBritain has revealed that castles, stately mansions and famous heritage buildings of Britain are now the favorite ‘must see places’ for foreign tourists. The figures reveal that about 30% of all tourists visiting Britain include ‘heritage sightseeing tours’ as a compulsory item in their travel itinerary. This percentage of tourist spends an amount of 6.5 billion British pounds every year on such heritage tours.
The survey has also revealed that such tourists maintain a high opinion regarding to British cultural heritage. In a survey of 15,000 respondents, 47% respondents have affirmed the importance of Britain’s ‘interesting built heritage’ as the primary factor for Britain being a holiday destination. Interestingly, Britain also ranks second in position in the category of ‘interesting built heritage’ before France, USA, Australia and Italy.
The reason behind such popularity of these heritage sites in Britain is attributed to the propagation of Britain’s rich cultural past through the means of classic literatures, films and television series. Instances of historic castle buildings made famous through films and television include the ‘Highclere Castle’ – home of the most popular TV series Downtown Abbey; the ‘Alnwick Castle’ – home of the blockbuster movies series ‘Harry Potter’. The sensational success of the ‘Harry Potter’ movie alone has increased a staggering 230% increase in tourist visits along with an income generation of about 9 million British pounds in 2011.
Apart from this, the hotel and tourism industry have also joined in the wagon to promote the inflow of tourists with innovative and exciting offers. The Ellenborough Park Hotel for instance, has achieved an astounding figure of 120 million British pounds with their private tour programme inside the ‘Highclere Castle’ as a part of an elite package deal.
So far, Britain has had over 1 million US visitors who have spent over a billion British pounds during their holiday in UK. Top heritage site visitors in Britain from other countries around the globe include – 51% Brazilian, 42% Russians and Chinese, and 35% Indians. The Brazilian, Chinese, Russian and Indian visits to these heritage spots have generated a net amount of 485 million British pounds. Statistical data also reveals that most of these visitors are women and young adults with a minimal percentage of men.