Monday, August 22, 2016

Post Brexit update as low pound attracts UK tourist spending boom

The fall in the British pound following the vote to leave the EU has attracted even higher levels of tourists to the UK on shopping sprees, causing a leap in tax-free spending by overseas visitors, according to figures published in the Guardian.

Leading tax-free shopping company Global Blue said visitors from Asia and the US have been taking advantage of how much further their own currencies will go in the UK since the June referendum. It reported a 7% year-on-year increase in UK international tax-free shopping in July.

Countries such as Japan, Indonesia and the US were the nations that accounted for the biggest increase. Spending by Japanese visitors was up 96% in the UK compared with July 2015, while travellers from Indonesia spent 88% more than last year on tax-free shopping.

Chinese tourists’ spending was up just 6% for July, but the country still accounted for the largest portion of spending overall, with a 32% share.

Big Ben, London

The figures mirror advice by the Office for National Statistics last week that there were signs the fall in the pound since the referendum, which has made holidaying in the UK cheaper for overseas visitors, had attracted tourists on shopping sprees for luxury goods. Sales of watches and jewellery in July were up 16.6% on the same month last year, according to those official figures. The tourism boost combined with better sales of summer clothes to help drive an overall bounce in retail sales in July.

London certainly looks busier than ever as UK tourist’s crowd into attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the British Museum.

Even if the hotels are fully booked, you can book accommodation with AIRBNB, which has been gaining popularity in the UK and keeping the hotel owners on their toes!

Despite predictions of doom and gloom by remain campaigners, the stock market is up, the UK economy is surviving and looks set to thrive outside of the EU.

However, people of Irish decent and clamouring for Irish passports and there has been a surge in the number of people applying to emigrate to Ne Zealand.

Over 10,500 Britons have inquired about emigrating to the country since the Brexit vote, the New Zealand Herald has revealed, more than double the number of the same period last year.

During the 49 days following Britain’s vote to leave the EU, 10,647 people from the UK registered with Immigration New Zealand, compared with 4,599 in 2015. On 24 June, the day immediately following the vote, the website received 998 British registrations, almost 10 times as many as the previous day’s tally of 109.

Registering with the New Zealand migration website allows would-be British émigrés to check whether their skills are in demand and if they meet immigration requirements. On the list of immediate skills shortages, New Zealand has urgent vacancies for poultry farmers, bakers, ski instructors, dentists and upholsterers, and others.

In other Brexit news, the majority of Britons – including those who voted to leave the European Union – want EU nationals living in the UK to be allowed to stay in the country after leaving the EU, according to a new poll.

Even though immigration was the main issue put forward by the Leave campaign, 77% of those who voted for Brexit and 78% of Ukip supporters agreed EU nationals currently here should be allowed to remain living in the UK.

Whilst 62% of those polled wanted to see a reduction in the number of unskilled migrants coming to the UK, a majority did not want to reduce the influx of highly-skilled migrants, such as engineers, as well as nurses and doctors needed to fill shortage occupation job vacancies in the NHS.

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