The weak pound and other, less short-term factors, are supporting London's status as a key market for global tourists with Russia's recovery and surging US visits both making a major impact in Q1, new data shows.
Hong Kong's retail sales fell for the 24th straight month in February, hurt by a lack of growth in tourist spending. The Hong Kong Retail Management Association has estimated a 3-4 percent drop in retail sales in 2017.
There may be concerns about UK retail as Brexit talks loom and shoppers are hit by higher inflation, but international tourist spend appears to be going from strength to strength with tax-free shopping up 55% last month.
Tourists are heading back to Europe, and the recovery is showing up in everything from rising hotel bookings to tax-free shopping and air traffic, leading to a brighter earnings outlook for travel and leisure companies.