How do France and Italy manage their tourist industry? I'm not a republican btw, but it just struck me that when I visited the Loire valley people seemed pretty keen to see those chateaux. Has anyone calculated how many more visitors you would get at Versailles if there was a real royal family around somewhere? Isn't the French revolution a bit of a draw too? (not making any suggestions here, no really not)
Indeed. The 'Royal' Family are not needed for tourism. It is a myth that they are.
I am a republican, of course. You make the very good point that France is the most popular tourist destination in europe, and it has no 'Royal' family.
In fact, the Republic website states this:
"Tourism revenue is not only irrelevant to a debate about our constitution, the suggestion that the monarchy promotes tourism is also untrue. There is not a single shred of evidence to back this up. Of the top 20 tourist attractions in the UK only one royal residence makes it: Windsor Castle at number 17 (beaten comfortably by Windsor Legoland, in at number 7). Royal residences account for less than 1% of total tourist revenue. Indeed, the success of the Tower of London (number 6 in the list) suggests that tourism would benefit if Buckingham Palace and Windsor castle were vacated by the Windsor family.
The British tourist industry is successful and robust - castles and palaces would remain a part of our heritage regardless of whether or not we have a monarchy (look at Versaille). Other attractions, such as the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, the west end, Bath, Stonehenge, Britain's beautiful countryside and so on, will continue to attract tourists in the same numbers as they do today. The government body responsible for tourism, Visit Britain, hasn't even collated statistics on the monarchy as an attraction, which shows it is not a key factor in the promotion of the UK as a tourist destination.
The tourism argument has been dreamt up to distract people from the real issues. There is no evidence that the monarchy is good for tourism, in fact, there are good reasons why the opposite might be true. Imagine the potential for Buckingham Palace if it was fully opened up to tourists all year round, where visitors can explore every room and courtyard and see the grounds and the magnificent art collection. And of course popular ceremonies such as the changing of the guard will continue. "