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Brexit boosts tourist spend in July

The UK enjoyed a 7% increase in tourist spend in July as the weakness of sterling following the Brexit vote in June attracted international shoppers.

Chinese shoppers on Bond Street

Chinese shoppers on Bond Street

Japan, Indonesia and the US accounted for the biggest increase in UK international tax-free spend, Global Blue, the tax-free shopping network, has reported.

Japanese visitors almost doubled their UK shopping budgets, which were up 96% compared with July 2015, while travellers from Indonesia spent 88% more than last year on international tax-free shopping. Spend from Chinese tourists was up just 6% year on year but still accounted for the largest proportion of spend overall, at 32%.

Travellers from the US had a 7% share of the total and increased their average spend by 22% to £734.

Qatar remained the nation with the highest average spend per transaction for July, at £1,642.

Gordon Clark, managing director UK and Ireland for Global Blue, said: “Although the weaker pound following the referendum was initially unwelcome news, it has proved perfect timing for tourists visiting the UK, enjoying our British leisure, luxury and cultural offering during the summer season.

“The cash injection we have seen off the back of this has been hugely beneficial for our tourism economy. As the pound still fluctuates, we hope the flurry of tourist activity to the UK has inspired others to follow suit, and visit and shop in the UK.”


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