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Foreign visitors spend almost £600m on British football


Foreign visitors spent almost £600m on attending British football matches last year according to a Visit Britain survey which was published this week.

The survey showed that more 750,000 inbound visitors attended a football match whilst in the country and in the process spent on average £776 per fan.

These impressive figures further underline the fact that British football has a global appeal and that attending a game of football in this country helps drive visitors to the UK.

The Premier League and Football League is beamed to 212 territories across the globe, further strengthening the brand and association with many of those member clubs. Manchester United seem to be the main beneficiary of this growing trend with the Red Devils topping the list for favoured venues, 114,000 foreign fans going through the turnstiles at Old Trafford. Liverpool (89,000), Arsenal (88,000), Chelsea (54,000) and Spurs (38,000) were also popular teams to watch.

The Republic of Ireland accounts for the biggest proportion of visitors to UK football matches, 164,000 Irish football fans made the short journey across the Irish Sea to get their football fix. Norweigan fans are the next on the list with an impressive 1 in 13 Norway visitors to the UK giving football as their reason for coming to Britain.

Speaking about the survey, Visit Britain's Director of Strategy and Communication, Patricia Yates said: "Not only do some of the best players in the world want to play in Britain, but their international fans want to follow them here to savour the atmosphere of a match.

"It is no surprise our international visitors come here to cheer on their sporting heroes and visit our world class stadia across Britain - from Old Trafford to the Emirates and Anfield to Wembley.

"Our partnership with the Premier League has enabled us to use football to connect with fans all around the world. It has given us access to some of the stars of the British game who have promoted Britain to their fans back home- and encouraged them to come and visit."

Matt Morris

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