Brexit Benefit: Falling Pound Boosts Tourist Spending in the UK - eMarketer
« Return to Mobile Website

Newsletters Sign-Up

Schedule a Demo

Does My Company Subscribe?

Brexit Benefit: Falling Pound Boosts Tourist Spending in the UK

22% jump in card spending in December

January 20, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce | Travel

Brexit's long-term effects are still to be seen, but the weakening of the pound since the UK's vote to leave the EU is helping push up retail spending by foreign visitors to the UK. According to transaction data from payments processor Worldpay, the value of foreign credit and debit card transactions in the UK surged 22 percent in December 2016 compared to a year earlier.

Overall, foreign visitors spent over £725 million at brick-and-mortar stores in the UK last month, according to Worldpay estimates, up £130 million over December 2015.

London was the biggest beneficiary, with tourists spending 35% more at the capital's high-end boutiques and department stores. Outside of London, retailers in Manchester and Edinburgh saw year-on-year spending by tourists rise by 19% and 24%, respectively.

"The influx of free-spending tourists we saw in December will have been a welcome boost for retailers looking to balance the books," said James Frost, Worldpay's UK CMO.

Visitors from Hong Kong were among the most eager bargain hunters, according to Worldpay, spending an extra 69% in UK stores during December compared to 2015. Spending on cards from China was up by 24%, while visitors from the UAE spent an additional 31%. The amount spent by tourists from France and Germany rose 14%.

—Cliff Annicelli

New in eMarketer PRO This Week



  • Report: Digital Video Advertising Best Practices 2017
  • Report: Worldwide Digital Video Viewers: eMarketer's Estimates for 2016–2020
  • Report: B2B Mobile Marketing and Advertising 2017


Not a PRO subscriber? Find out how to become one.

  • Go beyond the articles:

    coverage
    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

    SEE FEATURES »
  • Hear from our clients:

    coverage
    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

    READ MORE »
  • Want to learn more?

    coverage
    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.

    CONTACT SALES »
$(document).ready(function(){ $("[id*='linkPrevious']").click(function() { eMarketer.Site.Analytics(window.location.pathname).link(true, "Article-PreviousArticle"); }); $("[id*='linkNext']").click(function() { eMarketer.Site.Analytics(window.location.pathname).link(true, "Article-NextArticle"); }); function getParameterByName(e,n){n||(n=window.location.href),e=e.replace(/[\[\]]/g,"\\$&");var r=new RegExp("[?&]"+e+"(=([^&#]*)|&|#|$)"),a=r.exec(n);return a?a[2]?decodeURIComponent(a[2].replace(/\+/g," ")):"":null} var ecid = getParameterByName("ecid") if(ecid) { eMarketer.Site.Analytics('Article').addEventOnce(eMarketer.Site.Analytics.Events.ArticleViewFromSpecificNewsletter).link(true, 'ArticleViewFromSpecificNewsletter-' + ecid) } });