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Celebrating The Coronation

A historic weekend in the 2023 calendar, King Charles III’s Coronation took place from 6th – 8th May in England with official events taking place in both London and Windsor. As excitement grew for the first Coronation in 70 years, we take a look at the impact on the UK tourism market and how brands capitalised on this grand celebration.

Surging bookings and prices in the capital

As one might have expected, hotel bookings and prices across London, in particular, surged with the announcement of the long Coronation weekend. According to Trivago Chief Executive, Axel Hefer, hotel prices in the capital surged by 60% YOY for the day of the Coronation, with the average booking price hitting £254. 

For hotels across the country, the Coronation provided the opportunity to get creative with different packages, providing an extra level of service for travellers, including the Coronation Concierge from PoB Hotels and a unique Coronation Package from The Castle Hotel Windsor. Other brands have celebrated with commemorative Afternoon Tea, special garden party menus and, like Seaham Hall, exclusive King Charles’ Cavalier celebrations. 

Kalindi Juneja, CEO of PoB Hotels, commented on the initiative: “The Coronation turned all eyes on the British Isles and offered wonderful opportunities for guests to consider a regal staycation to celebrate the historic event. At PoB Hotels, we have a number of hotels within our collection that have close links either to King Charles or the Royal family and so, PoB Hotels really was well-placed to help guests book their unique Coronation trip. We saw a number of our members offer exciting offerings to celebrate King Charles and Queen Camilla’s Coronation including The Goring – the only hotel to have received a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth – Royal Afternoon Tea, Prestonfield House’s special Coronation cocktail and The Relais Henley – which was visited by King Charles I – ‘A Fit for a King’ package.”

Jetting in to join the celebrations 

With visitor arrivals in 2022 down by a third as the knock-on effects of the pandemic prevail, many hoped the Coronation would provide a welcome boost for the UK. Visitors from further afield seem keen to join the celebrations, with flight data analysis company Cirium reporting an 11% increase in inbound flights to the UK the week before the Coronation.

Just before the celebration, UKHospitality revealed that they were estimating a £350 million boost during the long weekend of the Coronation. The British Beer & Pub Association estimated an impressive extra revenue of £120 million for pubs, whilst London’s New West End Company estimates a £50 million sales boost overall, with 1.75 million international and domestic visitors to the West End.

Retail brands also seized the opportunity, adding fun PR twists on everyday staples. Food brands released unique Coronation-themed items, from a Coronation ‘Colin the Caterpillar’ cake at Marks and Spencers to Moet & Chandon’s Coronation Champagne and even the Heinz Kingchup, a play on ketchup, their special Coronation Edition. 

One thing that’s certain is that this unique celebration weekend put Britain back into the spotlight. The United Kingdom will continue to be a bucket list destination for many curious to know more about our Royal Family, while the Coronation showcased London and Windsor as two key destinations for travellers to visit.

Some results following the Coronation celebration

How many people actually tuned in?

Right after the celebration, UK Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board revealed that more than 20 million people in the United Kingdom tuned in to watch King Charles III’s Coronation on Saturday 6th May.

A great opportunity for an overseas escape 

Some Brits decided to mark this special event by joining the streets parties organised all around the country, while others took the opportunity to escape the crowded capital during another bank holiday weekend. Flight data analysis company Cirium revealed that the Coronation weekend saw 10,962 flights scheduled to depart UK airports – equating to over 1.95 million seats, with this figure is 10% higher than 2022 and 625% higher than 2021.

The most popular international destinations from British shores were Dublin, Amsterdam, Palma, Malaga and Alicante. Across the UK, Heathrow Airport saw the largest number of departures (2,556), followed by Gatwick (1,499), Stansted (1,001), Manchester (1,000) and Luton (596) as many Brits opt to make the most out of the long three-day weekend. Cheers to that!

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