Royal Wedding Causes Travel Bookings to Soar

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Britons aren't the only people gearing up for the Royal Wedding. People from around the world are booking flights and hotels for the occasion, which is quickly becoming the biggest tourist event of 2011.

Travel booking website Expedia reports a 266% rise in flight bookings to London around the time of the Royal Wedding. According to new research from Hotels.com, accommodations are skyrocketing as well: reservations are up 212% compared to the same period last year.

Surprisingly, it is Americans who are being drawn to the ceremony in droves. Three times as many Americans have booked hotels than Brits.

Locals looking to avoid the influx of tourists and take advantage of a possible 11-day holiday are booking trips out of the country. Oddly enough, their destination of choice is overwhelmingly Las Vegas. Other top cities are New York, Paris and Rome.

"The Royal Wedding is a win-win for inbound and outbound tourism, placing London in the spotlight for overseas visitors and Brits able to take advantage of the extra holiday to enjoy a dose of sunshine," says Alison Couper, global communications director at Hotels.com.

When the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer were wed in 1981, approximately 600,000 visitors flooded the streets of London, reports the UK Press Association. It is thought even more spectators will come out to see Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot.

Photo, Ben Stansall, AFP / Getty Images
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