(WFI) Premier League matches drew more than $1 billion in spending from Great Britain’s nearly 900,000 foreign football tourists in 2011.
Results released Monday from national tourism agency VisitBritain’s Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey indicate an increase of $177 million from the $948 million splashed by 750,000 foreign fans in 2010.
Ireland, Norway, USA, Spain and Germany are the most common countries of origin for visitors, and their most common destinations are Old Trafford, Anfield, Emirates Stadium, Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane.
“Our clubs have worked very hard to make Premier League grounds more welcoming and are striving to deliver a first-rate experience for all fans,” said Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore.
“Little beats the thrill of a Premier League matchday and it’s very encouraging to hear that football can play an important role in increasing the numbers of international visitors to this country.”
VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe added: “Our partnership with the Premier League not only highlights the value of sports tourism to the UK economy, but it also helps drive inbound visits by inspiring travel to the UK at traditionally quieter times of the year.”
Hospitality Rights Holder Warns Against Unauthorised Sales
MATCH Hospitality is cracking down on other companies claiming to sell packages for the 2014 World Cup.
“Over the past months, a number of companies falsely claiming to sell packages of the official hospitality program have been reported to our rights protection department,” said Pascal Portes, COO of MATCH Hospitality.
“Customers making purchases from unauthorised sources will be extremely disappointed in 2014 when they do not receive their ticket-inclusive packages and we appeal to everyone wishing to experience the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil to verify that they are dealing with an agent of MATCH Hospitality.”
Selling unauthorised hospitality packages is a crime under Brazilian law as well as a violation of MATCH Hospitality’s worldwide exclusive rights from FIFA.
“We would like to emphasise that only those sales agents officially appointed by MATCH Hospitality, either on an exclusive, co-exclusive or non-exclusive basis, are entitled to market and sell the products and services of the 2014 FIFA World Cup hospitality program,” Portes added.
“We are committed to protecting our agents and will work with governmental authorities in Brazil and consumer protection authorities elsewhere and take action against unauthorised companies infringing these rights.”
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
Get Free WFI news bulletins Click Here
Your best source of news about the global football business is World Football INSIDER