By Claire West

Britain’s shopping districts are emerging as one of our biggest tourist attractions as ongoing financial woes and the British shopping experience combine to create an ideal shopping holiday.

A survey by Shoparazzi, the
member’s only shopping club, has revealed that over £3 billion is spent in the UK each year on fashion by tourists, making shopping tourism a significant contributor to the economy. As many as 1 million people per annum may be visiting Britain each year just to shop.

Each year over 30 million people visit the UK, with almost 12 million of them travelling on holiday. In a survey, Shoparazzi found that the average spend on fashion per tourist was £253. This equates to £3 billion in
total, which is a significant portion of the The British Fashion Council’s £21billion total estimate that the fashion industry is worth to the UK

The reasons for this rise is are two fold. Firstly, emerging markets are continuing to grow while Western Europe and Britain have struggled to reshape their debt laden economies. This is increasing the buying power of
most tourists, especially those visiting from Asia..

Secondly, Britain’s overall shopping environment is very appealing to tourists. Individual shopping centres cater for a spectrum of budgets. And many areas boast unique experiences, such as the glamour of Bond Street, the
“grunge chic” of London’s Shoreditch, and the unparalleled value of Bicester Village. Oxfordshire’s Bicester Village focus on providing fashion tourists with specially arranged transport appears to be working.

Shoparazzi co-founder Colin Bruce stated, “The successful export of British style has significantly boosted the perception of the country both as a barometer of taste and as a shopping destination. We predict that this
trend will continue and that stores will profit from tailoring their offering and experience to the fashion tourist.”