An Asian consumer has been increasingly spending money in the U.K. capital of London and its is not the Chinese even though there had been an influx of Chinese tourists to London during the China’s recent Golden Week Holiday.
According to the figures presented by the New West End Company, a body that represents the central London shopping and theater district, in the month of July, there has been an uptick of 38 percent year-on-year in eth spending that was done by Indian tourists in London’s West End.
Outstripping the typically high-spending Middle Eastern visitors, and falling just behind only China and the U.S. visitors, the tourists and visitors from the world’s second most populous country ranked third for international spending in the West End in the month of July this year.
According to the World Bank, 7.2 percent in the fiscal year of 2017/18, and 7.5 percent the following year I the expected growth in the Indian economy in terms of its GDP. And set to overtake China by 2024 in terms of population, according to a United Nations estimate, India is home to 1.3 billion people, trailing only China’s 1.4 billion population.
But noting an average of spending of £677 and £1,478 respectively in July, there was a marked lag between the spending power of Indian consumers in comparison to the Chinese according to the figures presented by the New West End Company. The average spending by Indian tourists in the U.K. was 74 percent higher than the all-market average, said VisitBritain, the U.K.’s tourism authority.
Sterling is still down roughly 11 percent since before the referendum despite recovering some losses since its initial drop following June 2016’s Brexit vote. And sparked by cheaper prices, international tourist numbers have since been on the up.
Rising from $6.2 billion in 2005 to $16.4 billion in 2016, the value of the international Indian tourist market had grown by 150 percent over the past decade, said VisitBritain, in a report on Indian tourism to the U.K. out last Thursday.
The first choice of travelling for the Indian tourists are the Gulf countries and the U.S., said the report. it further states that only y second to France for Indian tourists visiting and touring Europe, on the overall, the U.K. was the 10th most popular destination for travel for Indian tourists.
While business class flights are now taxed more at 12 percent, up from 9 percent, there has been a fall in the taxation of economy flights from 5 to 6 percent due to the GST and after the overhaul of its Goods and Services Tax in India which was launched throughout the country on July 1.
(Adapted from CNBC)