Chinese tourists emerge as top tax-free shoppers in Europe

Thursday, February 24, 2011

NEW DELHI - A new study has found that Chinese tourists have outspend the Russians to become the top tax-free shoppers in Europe.

Statistics from Global Blue, a Switzerland-based tax-refund and shopping services provider, also showed that the average spending of Chinese for each transaction doubled that of the Russians.

“On average, Chinese tourists spent 107 percent more year-on-year on tax-refunded shopping abroad in 2010, reaching a 130 percent spike in September compared with the same month in 2009,” the China Daily quoted Manelik Sfez, vice-president of global marketing at Global Blue, as saying.

Excluding shopping, the average total cost for each trip for a Chinese tourist stands at 2,000 euros. Shopping takes up more than 70 percent of total outbound consumption of Chinese travellers.

Chinese international shoppers account for 17 percent of Global Blue’s tax-refund transactions, ahead of Russians with 15 percent.

On average, outbound travellers from the Chinese mainland spent 744 euros on tax-free shopping transactions last year, doubling the Russian’s 368 euros. Tourists from the United States spent 554 euros and the Japanese 521 euros, according to Global Blue.

Sfez said the trend could evolve into a tax-free shopping market worth 5 billion euros by 2020 if confidence in the Chinese economy and the currency exchange rate maintain the same momentum.

Global Blue said Chinese travellers spent the most on fashion, jewellery and watches, and they like to shop at big department stores where more options are available.

According to the China Tourism Academy, the number of Chinese outbound tourists is projected to have been 15.42 million in the third quarter of 2010, up 23.5 percent compared with the same period in 2009. (ANI)

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