London is the most popular city worldwide to visit for shopping.
Travel company Expedia.co.uk surveyed 11,000 people across 11 European countries to find that the UK capital is the city that holidaymakers worldwide are most likely to have visited to shop. More than one in four (27%) across Europe have taken a shopping holiday in London, putting it well ahead of other top destinations including Paris (20%), Milan (15%) and New York City (13%).
In the wake of the Brexit vote, London is also seen as the top city for value. One in ten (10%) across Europe agrees that the capital’s shops gives the best bang for your buck, edging out New York City (8%) with preferential exchange rates from the euro to the pound no doubt influencing travellers.
London is also set to continue dominating retail tourism despite voting to leave the EU, as the destination most Europeans would like to visit if given the opportunity. One in five (20%) across the continent are planning a visit, with shopping tourists most likely to come to London for clothing, toys, homeware and even garden ornaments.
It seems that the love is somewhat unrequited, however, as Brits are the least likely nationality to have headed on holiday with retail therapy in mind, with a majority (62%) reporting that they have never done so. There are signs that this is set to change though, with one in eight (13%) having already gone on a trip abroad to shop in 2016, with New York City (20%), Paris (16%) and Milan (11%) the top destinations to splash the cash.
To help further inspire Brits to venture out and snap up unique items or big bargains abroad, Expedia is launching their ‘Shopping’ campaign, working with bloggers and customers to capture footage of the best shopping spots and hidden markets worldwide.
Those in the UK who do hit the shops on holiday end up spending significantly less than the typical person in Europe when shopping abroad, averaging £346 per holiday versus £411. At the other end of the scale, the French spend more on average than any other European nation – a huge £531 per person, with much of this going on keeping their style up to date by buying clothes, shoes and ‘bijoux’.
Even though Brits are more frugal than the average European when it comes to shopping on holiday, three pounds of every 10 spent on a holiday overall – including flights, accommodation and food – still goes on buying goods to bring home.1
This money most often goes on clothes (59%) and footwear (40%), suggesting that for Brits, the shoes cruise has overtaken the booze cruise (18%) in popularity.
In fact, with fashion so popular and airfares getting lower, it’s unsurprising that many are looking to slightly-more-distant climes than Calais for their shopping fix. Milan is the European shopping destination most Brits would want to visit if given the option, with one in seven (14%) keen to visit the chic Italian city.
Some less traditional shopping destinations are growing in popularity, however, with Florence in Italy (5%), and Dubai in United Arab Emirates (5%) topping the wish list for a growing number of Brits, edging out the likes of Dublin, Berlin and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, more than a fifth of us (23%) prefer to spend our money at market places and flea markets, suggesting that on the whole, our choices are becoming a little more ‘bazaar’ when we shop abroad.
Alex Platts, for Expedia.co.uk comments: “The world looks to London when it comes to shopping, with the city clearly associated with quality, value and seemingly even garden ornaments! However, there’s a whole word of unique goods and wonderful experiences out there, from high fashion in Milan to flea markets in Marrakech. Whatever it is you’re searching for, Expedia can bring you closer to the experience.”
Featured deals for top shopping destinations
London – four nights’ stay at Milestone Apartments from £332 for the room – a saving of £498
Paris – direct flight and four nights’ stay at Timhotel Berthier Paris 17 from £199 – a saving of £20
Milan – direct flight and four nights’ stay at Uptown Palace from £358 – a saving of £82
Barcelona – direct flight and four nights’ stay at Leonardo Hotel Barceona Las Ramblas from £517 – a saving of £63
New York City – direct flight and four nights’ stay at Mandarin Oriental from £1,323 – a saving of £1,632
Further Autumn Sale deals available via Expedia.
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