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Overseas visitors holidaying the UK could splurge up to £2.4bn in a “summer spending frenzy”

PUBLISHED: 08:40 21 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:24 21 July 2017

A Union Jack flag in Cromer Beach.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A Union Jack flag in Cromer Beach. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

Tourists jetting to the UK “in their droves” to take advantage of the weak pound could spend up to £2.4bn on our high streets this summer.

Data from payments processor Worldpay shows spending on foreign cards was up 18% year-on-year in June, with visitors buying £643m worth of goods.

The Eid festival from June 24 saw Middle Eastern visitors spend 59% more than in an average week, with luxury boutiques and department stores seeing the biggest bump in sales at 63%.

Worldpay has predicted a “spending frenzy” if the trend continues, with spending on foreign cards potentially reaching £2.4bn over the summer.

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

“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.”

Outside of the Middle East, visitors from Russia and the US were the biggest spenders, spending an extra 25% and 19% respectively compared with last year.

Mr Frost said: “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% compared to last year, and this could increase further in July and August.

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

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