Brexit boost as inbound tourists go on spending spree

The post-referendum slump in sterling prompted a 7% year-on-year increase in international tax-free shopping by tourists visiting the UK during July.

The figures come from tax-free shopping specialist Global Blue, which said travellers from the US saw a 22% increase in their average spend to £734.

Meanwhile, Chinese travellers – who account for almost a third of all spending – saw their average spend rise 13% to £840 per transaction.

Gordon Clark, UK and Ireland managing director for Global Blue, said: “Though 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.”

The Chinese accounted for the greatest spend overall in July, followed by travellers from the US and Hong Kong.

Spending by Japanese visitors was up 96%, while travellers from Indonesia spent 88% more on international tax-free shopping.

“Although Japan and Indonesia account for just 1% and 2% of total international tax-free shopping in the UK, it is positive to see the increase in their spend, alongside the other top visiting nations like India and Thailand,” said Clark.

“It is reassuring to see that the demand for British quality, service and shopping remains strong and is currently outperforming the rest of Europe.”