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A British Christmas abroad

International visitors to Heathrow purchase 918 tonnes of UK products for Christmas

The trimmings of a traditional British Christmas will be replicated across the world this festive season as Britain’s biggest transport interchange, Heathrow, predicts a record year for sales of iconic UK products such as English tea, Scottish salmon and single malt whiskey.

During November and December, foreign visitors will snap up more than 918 tonnes of British products - the same weight as 464 London black cabs – to bring a touch of Great British glamour to their festivities.  

Dana Jaber, a personal shopper at Heathrow, says that the type of items passengers are requesting has changed significantly in the last five years:  

‘More than 5.8 million travellers will pass through Heathrow this Christmas searching for a little piece of Britain to take home. Thanks to the Royal Wedding, the Olympics and more recently the birth of Prince George the desirability of British brands has never been higher. Visitors are keen to take home a little piece of the UK for their own Christmas celebrations.’

  Top three British products purchased by foreign travellers over Christmas are:
• Scottish Malt Whiskey – over 185,000 litres
• English tea – over 100,000 boxes
• Scottish Smoked Salmon – 3.5 tonnes  

English tea sold at Heathrow over Christmas (equivalent to 6,400,000 cups) is particularly popular with Chinese passengers as gifts for loved ones.  While Turkish and Japanese passengers are the key buyers of Scottish Malt Whiskey and are keen to understand the heritage of each bottle they purchase to take home.  Middle Eastern passengers are also increasingly asking Heathrow’s Personal Shoppers for assistance purchasing Scottish salmon which is sealed and packaged ready for flight.  

Another key brand taking off at Heathrow is Mulberry which is proving popular with Scandinavian and American passengers.  Meanwhile Jo Malone is flying the flag for Brand Britain with American, Chinese, Korean customers keen to capture their UK experience through fragrance.  

British-branded products from Heathrow are most popular with the following nationalities:
1. American
2. Arabic
3. Chinese
4. Japanese
5. Russian  

Dana Jaber adds: ‘The Asian market – including mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore – like the romance and heritage of a traditional British Christmas, and tend to go for items that allow them to recreate British traditions at home.’   

Heathrow’s Personal Shopping service offers passengers the chance to tap into the knowledge and expertise of a highly trained shopper unit. The team speak over 40 languages and work with international travellers all year round to fulfil passenger’s requests.

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