Weak pound could bring in £2.4bn in visitor spending

Outside of the Middle East, visitors from Russia and the US were the biggest spenders the report says
Outside of the Middle East, visitors from Russia and the US were the biggest spenders the report says

Overseas tourists could spend as much as £2.4 billion on the UK high street this summer as the pound’s slump continues to attract visitors “in their droves”, figures suggest.

Spending on foreign cards was up 18% year-on-year in June, with tourists buying £643 million worth of goods on the high street, data from payments processor Worldpay shows.

Middle Eastern visitors spent 59% more during the Eid festival from June 24 compared with an average week, with luxury boutiques and department stores seeing the biggest surge in sales of 63% as shoppers took advantage of the weak pound.

Worldpay said spending on foreign cards could reach £2.4 billion over the summer if the trend continued.

James Frost, UK chief marketing officer at Worldpay, said: “Sterling’s slump is continuing to attract visitors in their droves, safe in the knowledge that their holiday cash will stretch a little further.

“Eid provides a useful barometer for foreign spending more broadly.

“The latest figures from this year’s festival point towards a summer spending frenzy from overseas visitors looking to cash in on the weak pound.”

Outside of the Middle East, visitors from Russia and the US were the biggest spenders, spending an extra 25% and 19% respectively compared with last year.

Mr Frost said: “It tends to be London that grabs the headlines when it comes to tourist spending, but the reality is destinations right across the UK are benefiting from an influx of free-spending tourists.

“Businesses in Scotland and Wales have already seen foreign spending surge by as much as 27% compared to last year, and this could increase further in July and August.

“By investing to make their businesses more attractive to global customers, retailers and tourist hotspots across the UK could make serious gains from the pound’s performance this summer.”