U.K. Duty-Free Sales

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U.K. Duty-Free Sales

Using data from various government reports, it is calculated that, in 2018, 52.93% of sales at duty-free stores in the UK were purchased by UK residents, while 47.07% were made by international residents. The top three countries from which travelers originated were France, United States and Germany. The full list in order is available here.

Duty Free Sales Percentages UK/International

  • According to the UK Office for National Statistics, there were roughly 14,997,500 travelers into and out of the UK in 2018.
  • Of that total, 9,440,926 were from the EU and 5,556,574 were from non-EU countries.
  • Of the 9,440,926 from the EU, there were 7,153,500 travelers from the UK
  • There were 2,287,426 (EU) plus 5,556,574 (non-EU) = 2,844,000 International Travelers.
  • According to the Duty Free World Council, 30% of EU travelers made duty-free purchases and 22% of non-EU travelers made duty-free purchases in 2016, the latest year this data has been reported.
  • As a percentage, the result is 52.93% of duty-free sales were made by UK residents, while 47.07% were made by international residents. (see calculations below)

Top Countries for Duty Free Purchases

  • Assuming that the percentage of duty-free purchases is in the same order as the number of visitors to the country, the following countries are the top ten from which international travelers hail. The total list extracted from the raw data is in this spreadsheet and is shown on the second worksheet called Country.
  • France provided 4.89% of the visitors to England
  • US citizens make up 4.52% of the international travelers.
  • Germany provided 3.93% of the visitors.
  • Netherlands provided 3.59% of the visitors.
  • The Irish Republic initiated 3.23% of the visitors.
  • Spain provided 2.68% of UK visitors.
  • Australian citizens make up 2.56% of the visitors to the UK.
  • Belgium visitors make up 2.17% of the visitors
  • Italy provided 2.11% of the visitors.
  • Canadian citizens make up 1.91% of visitors to the UK.

Calculations

  • Starting numbers used in the calculations were filtered from the raw data available in this spreadsheet.

Number of Travelers in 2018

  • In 2018, the UK Office for National Statistics provided data for 29,995 interviewed travelers into and out of the UK.
  • The estimate by that office is that those interviewed are .2 percent of all travelers.
  • Therefore, the estimated number of total travelers in and out of the UK is .2 percent x 5 = 1 percent; 29995 X 5 = 149,975.
  • One percent X 100 = 100 percent; 149,975 X 100 = 14,997,500

Number of Travelers from the EU

  • 18,881 of the 29,995 were citizens of the EU.
  • Therefore, 62.95% of travelers were from the EU. 62.95 % of 14,997,500 is 9,440,926
  • Travelers from non-EU = 14,997,500 – 9,440,926 = 5,556,574

Number of Travelers by Residence

  • Number of UK residents in raw data was 14,307. One percent of travelers = 14,307 x 5 = 71,535.
  • 71535 x 100 = 7,153,500 UK residents traveled in and out of the country.
  • Number of international travelers from EU = 9,440,926 – 7,153,500 = 2,287,426.
  • There were 2,287,426 (EU) plus 5,556,574 (non-EU) = 2,844,000 International Travelers.

Number of Duty Free Shoppers

  • According the latest study from the World Duty Free Organization in 2016, 30% of travelers from EU buy duty-free items.
  • Please note, this source is from 2016, but is the most recent data available in the public domain for this data.
  • Number of UK resident duty-free shoppers = 30% of 7,153,500 =2,146,050
  • Number of EU resident duty-free shoppers = 30% of 2,287,426 = 686,227
  • Also, 22% of non-EU international travelers buy duty-free items.
  • The number of other international duty-free shoppers = 22% of 5,556,574 = 1,222,446.
  • Total number of non-UK duty-free shoppers = 1,908,693.
  • Total number of duty-free shoppers = 2,146,050 + 1,908,693 = 4,054,743

Percentage of duty-free shoppers

  • UK = 2,146,050 / 4,054,743 = 52.93%
  • International = 1,908,693 / 4,054,743 = 47.07%



Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "22% of international travelers from non-EU; 30% of international travelers from inside EU"
Quotes
  • "The International Passenger Survey (IPS) collects information about passengers entering and leaving the UK, and has been running continuously since 1961. The IPS conducts between 700,000 and 800,000 interviews a year, of which over 250,000 are used to produce estimates of overseas travel and tourism. The study results are used by various government departments, including the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Department for Transport, the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs, VisitBritain and the national and regional Tourist Boards."
  • "Each year approximately 300,000 interviews are achieved representing about 0.2 per cent of travellers."