Tourist spending in UK cities increased in December
The report by Premier Tax Free found that visitors to Glasgow came top, spending 175% more in December 2011 than in December 2010. Americans made up the majority of the rise, increasing their spending in the city by more than 290%. Chinese visitors spent 180% more and visitors from the UAE 83% more. In comparison tourist spending in London and Manchester increased by 35% and in Edinburgh by 31%.
In London tourists typically spent £428 per sale in December. The report found that spending by Norwegians increased the most from 2010, with the nation spending 74% more. Spending by Qataris and Kuwaitis increased by 44% and 41% respectively while Americans spent 36% more.
December also showed some distinct tourist trading peaks in London. The most intense spending occurred between 23 and 31 December with 33% of total value. This is up 50% from the same period in 2010.
The biggest tourist spending day was Boxing Day, accounting for 5% of total tourist spending in the capital. This was 90% more than the same day in 2010, with a typical transaction value of £302.
Lebanese tourists took the greatest advantage of the sales, spending the most per transaction on Boxing Day at £1,225. They were followed by Saudi Arabians who spent £460 per sale.
The traffic free shopping days in London’s West End on 10 and 11 December also had a positive impact on tourist sales accounting for 5% of the total value of transactions over the month. In general, tourists spent £414 per transaction over the weekend, with those from Indonesia spending the most per transaction, at £1,473.
Duncan Bews, director of sales at Premier Tax Free said: "It is very encouraging to know that tourists are flocking to the UK to spend their money. These figures demonstrate how valuable the tourist industry is, especially over peak shopping periods."
He added: "In addition, these numbers show no signs of slowing down. Retailers need to make the most of visitors to the UK eager to take advantage of the lower pound. Those that convert the additional 20% tourists can claim back through tax free shopping into sales can make substantial gains."
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