How the UK became the sick man of European tourism



A spokesperson for the UK’s Association of International Retail told CNN that the axing of the scheme is predicted to lead to a drop of 38% in retail sales to non-EU visitors, compared to 2019 — a loss of £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) to the economy.

But that’s not all. “There are also likely to be indirect losses as high-spending visitors travel to the UK less often and spend less time here, preferring instead to visit countries where they can buy goods for 20% less than in the UK,” they said.

Visitors from China and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries comprise 4% of visitors to the UK, but make around 60% of tax-free purchases.”

Research shows that over 50% of Chinese visitors and over 60% of visitors from the GCC would reduce the number of times they visit the UK and the length of time they spend here — as a direct result of ending tax-free shopping,” they said.

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