WEST END retailers are bracing themselves for a surge in Thai and Malaysian shoppers over the next three months as they escape their hot summer season and come in search of the UK’s cooler climate.
Visitors from Thailand and Malaysia were the fastest growing consumers in the UK last year, each spending 51 per cent and 40 per cent more than the previous year, according to tax-free shopping services firm Global Blue.
Thai tourists splashed out £1,023 each on average per transaction, while Malaysian visitors spend £827. But both still fell short of the £1,341 spent by visitors from China.
China remained the West End’s biggest overseas market, accounting for 20 per cent of all spending by overseas visitors last year.
Global Blue’s figures show that Malaysians spending was highest on Regent Street – up 93 per cent – while Thai shoppers flocked to Oxford Street where they increased their spending by 52 per cent.