ME tourists to drive London retail growth
Dubai, May 8, 2011
The Middle Eastern tourists are set to spend more than £210 million ($344 million) in London’s most famous shopping streets this year, up an average 3.5 per cent compared to last year, said a report.
London’s West End is the world’s top shopping destination, with a world-class mix of 600 shops, 40 renowned theatres, 30 museums and galleries, 17 Michelin star restaurants and 7 tranquil green spaces.
The Middle East is one of London’s highest spending visitor markets which has grown over 20 per cent in the last five years.
New West End Company, which represents retailers in London’s most famous shopping streets - Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street - said this summer in the Pre-Ramadan period over £210 million will be spent by visitors from UAE, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
To capture this ever-growing trend of global retail tourism from Middle East, the London Luxury, an initiative of New West End Company, launched an High Life package of bespoke shop and stay experience at the recent 'Arabian Travel Market' expo in Dubai.
According to annual GlobeShopper Calendar, developed by New West End and Global Blue, leading experts in global shopping and spending, the UAE and Saudi are expected to be among the most significant inbound shopper markets for London’s West End in 2011, with emerging retail tourists from Kuwait also boosting retail sales.
London Luxury is a new initiative in high net worth global shopper tourism to capitlalise on the growing trend of shopping tourism.
It offers a programme of bespoke personalised shopping tours and unique shop and stay packaged with London’s most discerning hotels, retailers and restaurants.
A dedicated Luxury London privilege card and website in Arabic and English highlights an exclusive mix of privileges and luxury offers that money can’t buy from tea at Asprey in a private room to viewing Grace Kelly’s diary to Sir Winston Churchill’s suit block.
Jace Tyrrell, director of New West End Company said, "International shoppers are key to the ongoing West End retail recovery and success of London’s economy."
"Spending over £1,200 each on average compared to a UK shopper of £120, the Middle East and in particular visitors from the UAE are one of our most important inbound shopper markets."
"It is encouraging that numbers of international shoppers are set to grow by around 15 per cent this year," Tyrrell remarked.
“We have spent the last two years researching our key markets including the Middle Eastern visitor, understanding their stimulus to travel, shopping intentions and retail and leisure preferences from high street and luxury retail brands, hotels and cultural attractions,” he added.
Nigel Dasler, vice president of Sales at Global Blue, the market leader in tax free shopping, said, “Evidence so far this year shows that ME shoppers will continue to make up the biggest market share of international visitors in spending terms, buying almost exclusively luxury goods and staying in the best hotels London’s West End has to offer.
Alongside the marketing campaign, New West End Company is also lobbying the UK government departments to simplify the visa process for long haul visitors.-TradeArabia News Service