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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Edinburgh set to benefit from Royal nuptials

Marriage of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk today is expected to provide a £10 million boost for Edinburgh's economy.

Experts at The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce predict the royal windfall could be even higher as VIP guests travel from around the world to watch the Queen's granddaughter and her England rugby star fiance tie the knot.

Hoteliers have reported a rise in occupancy levels on previous years, according to Marketing Edinburgh, while VisitScotland has announced a boom for regal attractions, including the Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The national tourism body has flown in media representatives from China, Australia and the United States, with around 150 journalists believed to be covering the occasion.

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce spokesman Graham Bell said: "This again bares out that Edinburgh is just a fantastic venue for public events.

"Few cities in Britain can challenge it for streetscapes and views. It is not over-supplied with quality hotels, but this is improving and occupancy levels are second only to London.

"These are the things, alongside efficient transport connections, that attracts people to Edinburgh and keeps them coming back after a great first-time experience."

The wedding celebrations started last night when VIP guests - including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - joined the happy couple for a private party on the Royal Yacht.

Prince Harry was also among the guests, and was cheered by the party as as he went inside.

Earlier in the day, they were greeted by a small crowd of well-wishers as they arrived at the church for a rehearsal, spending about 50 minutes inside before emerging with family and friends to cheers.

Tourist bosses expect the wedding to bring benefits to the capital and the country, according to reports.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “The wedding between Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall is wonderful news for Edinburgh and the whole of Scotland.

“It’s a great opportunity for tourism in this country and we would urge businesses to take advantage of this great occasion.”

According to reports, people were camping out with sleeping bags to ensure a good view of the event which will take place at the city’s Canongate Kirk.

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