Rise of “Shopcationers”: Fly-in shoppers to boost British retail this weekend


London retailers are set to get a big boost from Spanish and Italian ‘shopcationers’ – people travelling to shop – this weekend, with the weak pound making the Capital the top destination for international shoppers over Europe’s “Immaculate Conception” public holiday, according to new data released today by lastminute.com group.


lastminute.com group’s recent booking data* shows that as many as one in ten Spaniards (11%) and Italians (10%) who have booked to travel through the site will be London-bound this weekend.

Italy and Spain’s Immaculate Conception public holiday provides the perfect excuse for short-haul get-aways, with London bookings up 152% and 83% respectively from the weekend before. And the weaker pound has also helped London’s star rise, with the data showing that visits to London from Italians are up 12% this year, compared to last year.

“The European public holiday means that this is always a popular time of year for short-haul travel, but the sharp rise in Italians and Spaniards booking London get-aways this year suggests that many also plan to take advantage of the weaker pound to bag some Christmas bargains – providing an extra revenue stream that UK retailers should look to capitalise on,” says Alessandra Di Lorenzo, Chief Commercial Officer, Advertising and Partnerships, at lastminute.com group.

The data reveals that most of these Italian and Spanish ‘shopcationers’ are due to fly over on Thursday 8th December this year, with the average stay lasting four days.

Di Lorenzo advises that the retailers that engage and inspire these “fly-in” shoppers when they are planning their trip - before they even board the plane - will be best placed to win the battle for their wallets.

“’Shopcationers’ are a lucrative group, and should be on every retailer’s radar as they gear up for their final Christmas advertising push. Targeting this segment with relevant, tailored ads as they plan their shopping trips can pay dividends. As well as inspiring this cohort of shoppers, brands should prioritise driving footfall in store through vouchers and discounts too.”

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