Thousands of British expats are set to return en masse to the UK for the London 2012 Olympic Games, according to a survey by expat bank Lloyds TSB International.
The weighted survey of 1,030 British expats reveals that 7% are planning to come back to Britain for the Games. This amounts to 385,000 of an estimated 5.5 million British expats.
The highest proportion will come from Spain, where one in five expats (21%) plan to make the trip. However, only 6% of those living in the USA and 3% from Canada plan to make the journey. In total, 275,000 expats have tickets for an event.
Many British expats also think that the Games will add to positive perceptions of the UK overseas. Around 66% of respondents believe that the Olympics will boost Britain’s profile in their country of residence, particularly those living in the US (75%).
Currently, almost half (48%) of expats think that Britain enjoys a positive reputation in their country of residence, against only 20% who don’t. This is particularly true in North America and the UAE, with 78% of US-based expats, 65% of Canada-basedexpats and 71% of UAE-based expats saying that Britain is well-regarded where they live.
National identity is also important to expats, with over a third (36%) saying they feel ‘more British’ and 38% saying they feel more patriotic towards the UK since moving abroad.
“2012 is a monumental year for the United Kingdom,” said Richard Musty, director, Expatriate Banking, Lloyds TSB International. “With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and now the London Olympics, Britain is at the centre of the world stage.
“While there are many things that expats prefer about living overseas, many identify strongly with their home country, some more strongly than when they lived here. Seeing Britain on show throughout the world is a huge source of pride, and it speaks volumes that so many are coming back to see the Olympics.”