Tourists fuel billions in retail spending

Retailers and Ramadan have always been fast friends, but this year the 'Ramadan rush' has seen an exceptional surge in retail sales.

The figures in the UK could surpass 2.4 billion pounds in sales this summer, with Middle Eastern shoppers spending 59 percent more over Eid, according to card service processor Worldpay.

The weaker sterling quashed margins but increased sales at luxury retailers, who saw a 63 per cent boost over the festival.

Tourists fuel billions in retail spending

Americans and Russians took advantage of weaker sterling

American and Russian tourists were also large contributors to the surge in spending, with sales growing 25 and 19 per cent respectively in June, no doubt attracted to the falling pound.

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

“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 percent compared to last year, and this could increase further in July and August.

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

Photo credit: Central London map, Oxford Street, courtesy of OxfordStreet.co.uk