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Annual spending by overseas visitors to rise by 34% to over £27 billion by 2017

A new report is predicting that the UK retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will benefit from a big increase in spending by overseas visitors over the next few years.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Annual spending by overseas visitors to rise by 34% to over £27 billion by 2017

The Tourist Dynamics report for banking group Barclays reveals that spending from foreign tourists is predicted to reach over £27 billion by 2017, which is an increase of 34% on 2013. It also forecasts that rapid growth in spend among tourists from emerging economies will be further boosted by loosening visa restrictions, with overseas visitors delivering a significant boost to the economy this year and beyond.

According to the report, visitors from the US currently spend the most in the UK, followed by France and Germany. However, emerging economies such as China, the UAE and Russia are set to outstrip them over the next few years owing to the increasing wealth of their consumers, particularly among the growing middle-classes. The UAE and Russia are expected to break into the top ten nationalities to visit the UK by 2017 while tourists from China are forecast to spend over £1 billion in 2017 - 84% more than in 2013.

Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale, Barclays, said: “Opportunities abound for both retailers and the leisure industry to capitalise on these growing tourist numbers and spend. Businesses putting in the time and effort to understand their client demographic and to talk to their audience through whatever channels they use, be it social media or more traditional, will carve out an advantage that will enable them to offer something more tailored for each nationality that visits our shores.

“For our retailers, it is also worth considering that British-made goods remain popular amongst overseas consumers, so it would be time well-spent evaluating how they market their products to audiences from overseas eager to snap up ‘Brand Britain’.”

The report also predicts that the retail sector will generate £9.3 billion from tourists in 2017, which is an increase of 36% from 2013. Expenditure within fashion retail is expected to increase by 38% to £5.8 billion.

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