New York attracts 2 million "rate trippers" keen to snap up a Christmas bargain

17 December 2007
More Britons than ever are planning to shop in New York this Christmas, shunning Paris despite the new high speed rail link.

According to new research from Cater Allen Private Bank, 2.2 million so-called "rate trippers" will be heading stateside to take advantage of the strong pound and favourable exchange rates and snap up bargain products at a fraction of the price back home.

However, despite the brand new high speed rail link to Paris from Kings Cross St Pancras, three times as many Brits will be travelling to New York than to Paris to buy their festive gifts. That means 882,000 people will be taking advantage of the weaker dollar and shopping in New York, compared to just 230,000 who plan on purchasing in Paris.

The study, conducted by ICM between 30 November and 2 December, found that collectively Brits are likely to spend the equivalent of £263 million on shopping abroad this Christmas. But it isn't just US dollars that Brits are changing up. Other popular exotic Christmas shopping destinations include Sydney where 395,000 people are planning on visiting, while Rome will see an additional 295,000 shoppers and a further 192,000 will be travelling as far a field as Hong Kong.

The research also revealed that despite the traditional stereotypes of women making the best shoppers, it is in fact men that are twice as likely to escape the UK with 1.5 million opting to head overseas compared with just 754,000 women.

Commenting on the findings, Sally Ann Watts, Head of Marketing at Cater Allen said: "Clearly the strong pound is having a real impact on shoppers and many are heading abroad to find a bargain this Christmas and take advantage of the favourable exchange rate with the US dollar in particular.

"If you witnessed the scenes on Oxford Street last weekend, you’ll also understand why more and more people are opting to head overseas to do their shopping this year!"

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