Strong Currencies Drive Europeans to Visit the U.S.

Currency exchange rates between Europe and the United States strongly favor Europe. That has made foreigners especially eager to visit the U.S. this holiday season.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Foreign demand for U.S. shopping is definitely not on the decline. Today, one British pound is worth almost two U.S. dollars, and the Euro - for much of the rest of Europe - is way up against the dollar as well.

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

At New York airports, a blogger called Englishman in New York reports passengers from London showing up with empty suitcases. Foreigners have been scouring New York for good deals on Tommy Hilfiger clothes, digital cameras and iPods. They get some of those items at B and H Camera and Video, which actually has a tourism department. Paul Goodfriend(ph) runs it.

Mr. PAUL GOODFRIEND (Runs Tourism Department, B and H Camera and Video): They come in droves, literally. They - just fill up on everything. They just can't resist it. They come with empty suitcases and go home with full suitcases.

Mr. FRED DIXON (New York City Convention and Visitor's Bureau): We've become somewhat like the bubble gum at the cash register. We're an impulse buy for the British in lots of ways.

MONTAGNE: That's Fred Dixon. He's with the New York City Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Mr. DIXON: They'll plan their trip to New York on a very short notice. New York is a nice weekend getaway for the Brits. That's something - a phenomenon that's actually come about in the last few years.

MONTAGNE: Our friends from across the pond are regular shoppers in the city. New York says Italy, Germany and Japan also provide a steady stream of bargain hunters. Apparently, there's no distance too far to go for a great deal.

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