Tourists tread the charity shop trail

It might be the Scottish people who have a reputation as thrifty, but foreign visitors have been flocking to Edinburgh's charity shops since they were featured on a map for bargain hunters.

More than 45,000 copies of the Edinburgh Charity Map were produced last year by environmental charity Changeworks. But tourists are using it more than locals: holidaymakers are reported to be using it to tour the city's 97 charity shops.

Ian Smith, senior projects manager at Changeworks, said: "Foreign tourists have been an unexpected spin-off. I suppose if you arrive in Edinburgh and it's cold, you might see one of our charity shops and go inside. That's where they find the maps."

Alexandra Kouveli, of Cancer Research UK's shop on South Clerk Street, said: "Many customers - mostly foreigners - love the maps."

Not everyone has welcomed the extra custom, however. "Great - tight tourists. Just what Edinburgh needs," one resident posted on The Scotsman's website.

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