Royal wedding makes tourist hotspot of Slough as bookings up 1,438%

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle about to sprinkle some fairy dust on likely locations?

The royal wedding is set to create tourist hotspots out of some unlikely Berkshire towns, it has been claimed.

Comedy character David Brent would be delighted that Slough, which neighbours the wedding location of Windsor, has seen a 1,438% increase in bookings on room renting website Airbnb.

Nearby towns of Maidenhead (362%) and Reading (57%) have also seen spikes in guest bookings.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry at St. George's Chapel on 19 May.

Image caption,
"Slough’s a big place. When they've finished with Slough, there’s Reading, Bracknell... Winnersh"

The figures also show that arrivals in Windsor itself will rise by 194% over the wedding weekend.

But the town's relative small size means some royal revellers are looking elsewhere to find a place to stay.

The Windsor homeowners hoping to cash in

By Francesca Gillett

Image source, Bill Hutchinson
Image caption,
This couple's cottage could be rented for £3,500

On Airbnb, about £2,000 a night can buy a night's stay in a home overlooking the royal wedding route.

Those with more more modest homes are also joining the drive, with one-bedroom flats in the town available for up to £475 a night.

Bill Hutchinson, 37, and his partner Annie have listed their luxury three-bedroom cottage on for a nightly rate of £3,500.

"We bought the house last year and we have had a baby so we were looking for ways to make some extra money," Mr Hutchinson said.

The royal wedding may sprinkle a little fairy dust on Slough's public image, having been the location for Ricky Gervais comedy The Office which portrayed the drudgery of the modern workplace.

Hotels in Windsor are also preparing for a royal wedding boost.

The number of people searching for a hotel in the area over the royal wedding period has tripled compared to the same weekend last year, internet data from hotel booking website Trivago found.

Website said it noticed "big spikes" in bookings on 28 November when Kensington Palace announced Harry and Meghan would wed at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

The figures also revealed that Americans are the nationality with the highest number of tourists visiting London over the period, closely followed by Britons, Germans and the French.

Thousands are expected to converge on Windsor across the weekend to get a view of the marriage, with 600 official guests invited.