British shops bolstered by Thai holidaymakers

Kasmira Jefford
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THAI shoppers have arrived in Britain in force this year and are outpacing all nationalities including China as the fastest growing international spenders, figures out yesterday show.

Global Blue, the tax-free shopping services company, said spend by Thai shoppers visiting the UK – namely London’s West End – rose by

68 per cent from January to May, while Chinese spend grew at just half of that pace at 39 per cent.

Thai holidaymakers spent £762 per single transaction this year, up 22 per cent on last year, with over half over visits taking place in London and its luxury department stores.

“It is becoming apparent that the relentless boom in outbound travel and spending by Chinese citizens is inspiring a new consumer confidence in other emerging economies, most notably Thailand,” Global Blue’s Gordon Clark said.

“In particular, we are seeing that Thai travellers like to purchase leather and travel accessories, as sales in these goods has rocketed 73 per cent from previous years”.

The New West End Company said stores are hiring Thai speaking staff to cater for the surge in visitors.