The weak pound and other, less short-term factors, are supporting London's status as a key market for global tourists with Russia's recovery and surging US visits both making a major impact in Q1, new data shows.
There may be concerns about UK retail as Brexit talks loom and shoppers are hit by higher inflation, but international tourist spend appears to be going from strength to strength with tax-free shopping up 55% last month.
Tourists are heading back to Europe, and the recovery is showing up in everything from rising hotel bookings to tax-free shopping and air traffic, leading to a brighter earnings outlook for travel and leisure companies.
S. Korea's Lotte Group said Monday four of its stores in China were closed after inspections by authorities. It blamed a political dispute. There are also fears that S. Korean stores will see from lower Chinese tourism.