International spending in
London up 4% year-on-year in Q1
International tourists' spent 4% more in London's West End in January-April 2015 than in the same period last year, new figures from Global Blue show.
Shoppers spent an average £969 per transaction in the period. Chinese shoppers represented 20% of the total tax free spending and spent an average £1,450 per transaction, up 9% from last year. Qatari shoppers came in second place at 8% of the total spending, but spent more on average: £1,906 per transaction.
On Regent Street, Chinese shopping spending rose 129% year-on-year and the Burberry flagship drew shoppers, especially over the Chinese New Year, which coincided with London Fashion Week.
However, London is still behind Paris, which remains the top retail tourism destination.
Gordon Clark, UK country manager of Global Blue, comments: "It is encouraging to see international spending coming back to strength this year, but it is important for retailers to maintain their ambition to maximise the opportunity these top spending shoppers bring and implement services which will continue to drive spending."
"China remains the highest spending nation in the West End, as across the UK, and the appeal of shopping for designer fashion in London has rippled out across South-East Asia resulting in huge growth from Hong Kong in particular. But this growth could be so much bigger if only the new UK Government would make it easier for these Chinese tourists to visit the UK."
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