Brexit Britain’s Bank Holiday boom could be worth £3 billion to local trade*

The weaker pound has prompted a staycation frenzy, meaning big business for pubs, restaurants, and tourist attractions

25 May 2017

The May bank holiday could earn a whopping £3 billion* for UK high street businesses, as thrifty Brits choose to spend the long weekends – and their hard earned cash – closer to home.

New data from payments processor Worldpay reveals that in post-Brexit Britain, where foreign travel is increasingly costly, native trips have upped their appeal. The company’s analysis of transaction data from the Early May bank holiday weekend reveals a 7%** increase in card transactions in-store, compared to the same time last year. 

For retailers and hospitality business owners, the strong growth in spending seen during the first bank holiday in May will be welcomed as an encouraging sign that trading this weekend could be even brisker.  

Worldpay’s analysis of transaction data during the spring Bank Holiday in 2016 shows spending in pubs was up 25%*** compared to average over the long weekend. Restaurants (+21%)***, tourist attractions (+35%)*** and hotels (+17%)*** also saw double digit growth in spending compared to average. If the upward trend in spending seen in early May continues, then these figures could be even higher this year. 

The regions seeing the greatest benefit from the bank holiday boom are vacation favourites Cornwall, Brighton and Edinburgh, where in 2016 overall spending increased by 11%***, 6%*** and 5%*** respectively. 

And while Worldpay’s data suggests many of us will be heading out this weekend, for others the long weekend will be a chance to catch up on home improvements. DIY stores saw spending rise by 6%*** compared to average during the spring bank holiday in 2016, while sales in garden centres were also up by nearly a quarter (24%)***.

James Frost, CMO Worldpay UK, comments: “This is a key period for businesses which rely on seasonal peaks in traffic, and with the weather forecast looking positive – for the moment – tourist hotspots across the UK will be looking to make hay while the sun shines.

“The current weakness of the pound means more Brits are choosing a staycation instead of heading abroad, while foreign tourists are making the most of cheaper prices by flocking to destinations from Edinburgh to Cornwall. Savvy business owners will be doing all they can to make the most of this boom, from taking on extra staff to deploying technologies designed to speed up service at busy times.”     


About the data
*Calculation is based on the assumption that total sales processed by Worldpay over the Early May Bank Holiday 2017 equate to 40% of total card transactions over that period, and that the YoY upward spending trend compared to the early May Bank holiday 2016 will continue over the Spring Bank Holiday.

**Calculation is based on a comparison between card transactions processed by Worldpay during the early May bank holiday weekend 2016 (Sat 30th Apr - Mon 2nd May) and the early May bank holiday weekend 2017 (Sat 29th Apr - Mon 1st May 2017)

*** Calculations are based on card transactions processed in the spring bank holiday weekend 2016 (Sat 21st May – Mon 23rd May)

About Worldpay: 
Worldpay is a leading payments company with global reach. We provide an extensive range of technology-led payment products and services to around 400,000 customers, enabling their businesses to grow and prosper. We manage the increasing complexity of the payments landscape for our customers, allowing them to accept the widest range of payment types around the world. Using our network and technology, we are able to process payments from geographies covering 99% of global GDP, across 146 countries and 126 currencies.  We help our customers to accept more than 300 different payment types.
Worldpay UK has more than 40% market share in the UK and helps businesses of all sizes sell more to their customers by accepting card payments in-store, online, via mail or telephone, and on the move.

For more information please contact:
Suraj Mashru, Golin: T + 44 (0) 20 7067 0494
Angela Woodward, Worldpay:  T: +44 (0)203 664 2605

25 May 2017