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Foreign Invasion Gathers Pace At St.James’ Park

8 years ago
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New information from the Office For National Statistics reveal that nearly a million people from overseas watched a professional football match on a visit to England in 2011.

The national tourist agency VisitBritain have been using the Premier League to promote the country to overseas tourists and the number of football tourists shows no sign of slowing down.

The International Passenger Survey suggests that 1.3million overseas visitors (around 4% of all foreign visitors) went to a live sports events and 900,000 of those watched a football match.

It won’t surprise you to learn that of the 900,000 football tourists, 1 in 5 went to see a match at Old Trafford and only a fraction under that went to Anfield.

As for the tourists by country; 174,000 from Ireland, 80,000 Norway, 61,000 from America, 54,000 Spain and 48,000 Germany.

Apart from Old Trafford/Anfield there isn’t a further breakdown for all clubs/stadiums but you only need to wander around St.James’ Park before the match, or pop in the Strawberry, and you will hear a voice that isn’t from around these parts.

Newcastle have long-established fanbases in places such as Norway and Denmark who are regular visitors, especially with the relatively decent travel links and…cheaper beer!

The report further highlighted the impact of foreign players playing in England as an extra draw.

I know we might struggle to get many people over from Argentina and Senegal but I wonder what initiatives Newcastle United have in place to attract our friends in France to the Geordie Riviera?

Our contacts over in France frequently tell us that with especially Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle United continue to be big news back in their home country.

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