'Ramadan rush' of Middle East shoppers boosts UK sales

25 July 2017 - Janet Bird

luxury store

A so-called 'Ramadan rush' of Middle Eastern tourists provided a huge boost to UK retail sales in June.

Payments processor Worldpay has revealed the end of Ramadan saw a huge increase in the number of Middle Eastern shoppers visiting the UK, attracted by the weakened pound. Spending by this category of shopper was up 59 percent during the festival of Eid, with luxury retailers seeing sales rise 63 percent during the period.

Russian and US tourists also helped drive retail sales up, spending 25 percent and 19 percent more respectively in June.

In total, Worldpay estimates tourist spending topped £643 million in June, up 18 percent on the same month last year.

And it is predicting international tourists could spend £2.4 billion in the UK over the summer months.

While London traditionally benefits the most from high spending foreign visitors, Worldpay said destinations across the UK are currently profiting from an influx of free spending tourists, with businesses in Scotland and Wales seeing foreign spending increase by around 27 percent compared to last year.

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