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Football tourism nets £684m windfall for UK economy

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The global popularity of the Premier League helped bring in £684m worth of spending last year from international tourists.

According to a new report from VisitBritain called Football tourism scores for Britain, 800,000 international visitors to Britain last year enjoyed a day out at a football match, with famous grounds Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium proving to be the most popular.

The £684m spent by football-watching international tourists last year represents a 15 per cent rise – or an increase of £89m – compared to when the research was last conducted in 2010.

Football tourists were also shown to be more willing to splash out during their trip. While the overall global average spend on an international visit to Britain in 2014 was £636, those visits including football match attendance had an average spend of £855.

The research highlights the mass international appeal of Premier League football and its increasingly valuable role as a global draw for visitors to Britain. The findings show that football is the number one draw for sport-watching international tourists, with 73 per cent attending a football match.

VisitBritain has been working closely with the Premier League to harness its global appeal as a means of boosting tourism and the agency’s chief executive Sally Balcombe said the sport can also help to draw tourists beyond London.

Tourism minister, Tracey Crouch, added: "Britain is home to many of the world's favourite football clubs so it's no surprise that more and more international visitors are going to football games while they are here.

“It's great for local economies, great for football and great for the UK's tourism industry."

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The global popularity of the Premier League helped bring in £684m worth of spending last year from international tourists.
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The research highlights the mass international appeal of Premier League football and its increasingly valuable role as a global draw for visitors to Britain
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