Why Britain Is Back in Business
After two years of a pandemic, we all need a reason to celebrate—and 70 years of service on the throne is the perfect excuse. In June 2022, the United Kingdom threw its biggest party ever to commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee: a welcome change for the tourism sector.
While figures have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, the enthusiasm shown for the Jubilee bodes well for both the UK and the industry itself. In 2022, the nation is expected to welcome 21.2 million international visitors, spending a cool £16.9 billion ($20.3 billion).
"The Platinum Jubilee came at exactly the right time for UK tourism. It's rejuvenated the industry," said Lana Bennett, CEO of Tours International. "The official events encompass all that is unique and welcoming about the UK and it's fantastic to have good news back in the headlines."
A ROYAL WELCOME
The new generation of royals continues to look to the future. Prince Charles—now known as King Charles III—has ascended to the throne after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge offer a modern spin on the traditional monarchy, talking publicly about key issues such as climate change and mental health.
Meanwhile, royalty is a recurrent theme in British popular culture, as evidenced by series such as Netflix's Bridgerton. The Regency-era hit amassed 627 million viewing hours after its second season aired in March 2022—inviting international visitors to explore England's stately homes.
So popular is the show that tour operators are seeking Bridgerton-themed tours, wherein visitors can "promenade" in key locations, such as Hampton Court Palace. A whistle-stop tour of royal palaces and filming locations offers American visitors a step back in time.
A BRITISH CLASSIC
Returning for 2022 was the long-awaited Glastonbury Festival, the UK's answer to Woodstock. Here, 200,000 music lovers flocked to enjoy more than 100 stages. This year, one act truly stole the show: the one and only Paul McCartney.
At the age of 80, The Beatles hitmaker played a three-hour set to an audience of 100,000 people. The singer's widely acclaimed performance is a testament to the enduring spirit of British popular culture. Even today, with a 60-year back catalog, The Beatles continue to sell out in Liverpool with their Beatles Story exhibition.
More modern influences take shape in the form of BBC Media City UK, which was opened officially by Queen Elizabeth in 2013. The complex is based in Manchester, which also plays host to British rock legends such as Oasis.
A YEAR TO REMEMBER
As 2022 draws to a close, Britain continues to welcome visitors from the US—skyrocketing by more than 240% between January and April. Its popularity will no doubt continue with the World Cup concluding the year, coupled with more traditional attractions like Christmas markets.
Whether classic or modern, the UK offers a huge range of destinations for group travelers to explore in 2023 and beyond. Tourism is recovering and Britain's doors are very much open.
Book group tours and hotels with The Group Company at thegroupcompany.com.
Courtesy of The Group Company.