Royal fans boost tourism in inflation-hit UK

Royal fans have poured into the heart of London to experience the flag-lined roads, pomp-filled processions and, above all, brave a miles-long line for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to bid adieu to Queen Elizabeth II. And while they’re here, they’re packing hotels, restaurants and shops.
Visitors crowding into central London from as far away as the US and India for the histor c moment are giving a boost to businesses at a time when the British economy is facing a cost-of-living crisis fuelled by the highest inflation in four decades and predictions of a looming recession.
“This is the history, you know, this happens once in the lifetime,” said Kanakkantt Benedict, who was visiting from India with his wife. “So we became a part of it. ”
Hundreds of thousands are expected to pay tribute to the queen ahead of her state funeral Monday, pushing up demand for hotel rooms in London that in some cases have doubled in price. Occupancy levels could reach an all-time high of 95%, as per Hotelplanner. com.
The UK economy is reeling from rising energy prices spurred by Ukraine-Russia war, driving the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation . Infl ation is the highest in the G7 economies, at 9. 9%. Hence, the money being spent by visitors offered a glimmer of hope. “Yes, short term, the bank holiday will probably cut dow n productivity,” Tim Hentschel, CEO of Hotelplanner. com said. But “the overall momentum from the tourism over the next few days and months will far outweigh” the short-term loss.

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