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Prince William's wedding to boost Britain's hard-pressed economy?

By Nairita Das

London, Nov 18 (ANI): Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding will apparently give Britain's hard-pressed economy a 1-billion-pound boost.

Revenue from tourism will increase by 750 million pounds as royal fans around the world flock in UK hoping for a glimpse of the happy couple.

However, Brits will do their bit, too, by snapping up tons of souvenirs and throwing celebration parties, triggering huge sales of champagne, wine and beer.

The 1-billion-pound figure came as Prince Charles was reportedly set to fork out millions for his eldest son's wedding.

The Queen was also said to be ready to help with the cost of the ceremony and reception.

And sources at St James's Palace said the couple would have an "austere ceremony".

The couple, who announced their engagement this week, are aware of the benefits to the economy - and the feel-good factor the marriage will generate.

"They are aware of how tough times are for people right now and will be thrilled if the tourism and retail industries get a boost," the Sun quoted a source close to the couple as saying.

The source added that William and Kate, both 28, are keen for Britons to share their joy on their big day.

Americans and Canadians are expected to flock to next year's service.

A spectacular increase in tourists from the booming economies of China, India, Brazil and Russia is also likely.

A tourism expert said: "Whole new markets - valuable markets like China and India - have opened up since Prince Charles and Lady Diana got married in 1981. People in these countries will be able to watch this wedding and are bound to be swept up in the pomp and ceremony of it all.

"We could be looking at anywhere between a 500 million pounds and 750 million pounds boost from tourism."

Paul Eastham, of Visit Britain, the website of the British Tourist Authority, estimated the wedding will be watched on TV by hundreds of millions worldwide - triggering a tidal wave of interest in all things UK.

Retail expert Neil Saunders, of researchers Verdict, said sales of food and booze could top 360million pounds, while souvenir merchandising is set to rake in another 26million pounds.

"Many people will still be keen to buy some form of keepsake or memento," Saunders added. (ANI)

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