ITALY REPORTED A SEASIDE BOOM IN TAX FREE SHOPPING

Joe McClain - Aug 30, 2014
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International tourists who visit Italy during the summer increasingly seek the beach resorts for shopping.

According to Global Blue, in the twelve-month period between May 2013 and May 2014 regarding the tax free purchases of global shoppers the following regions recorded significant growth – Emilia Romagna (27% of the national total), Liguria (16%) and Campania (15%). Tuscany took the fourth position with 14% of the market share. It is the region which registered the highest growth compared to the same period of the previous year (+25%).

During the summer, Emilia Romagna, Campania and Tuscany alone count for almost 58% of the tax free shopping in the country. Thanks to the success of the Adriatic Riviera, the Amalfi Coast and the Versilia they continue to cash in on foreign tourists. In these areas, tax free sales are mostly driven by the Russian purchases, with average receipts of between 440 and 1,000 Euros.

"Global shoppers who choose the Italian coasts to spend the summer holidays are an increasingly important resource for retailers offering the Made in Italy brand," said Antonella Bertossi, marketing sales manager of Global Blue Italy.

"It therefore becomes increasingly important to improve the tourist and trade packages and offers in the areas most affected by the influx from non-EU countries, helping tour operators to know more about the different nationalities and their particular shopping habits."

In Romagna, according to data from Global Blue, during the period May 2013 - May 2014 Russians accounted for over 85% of the total tax free purchases, followed at a great distance by Thai (3%) and the Chinese (2%). Thai tourists are the ones who have registered the most significant growth (+ 47% in May 2014 compared to the same period of the previous year) and a particularly high average receipt. Among the top spenders are also Peruvians and the Chinese.

Tax free shopping on the Amalfi Coast is mainly linked to the Americans, who take a little more than 25% of the overall market. Also the Russians (17%) and Brazilians (9%) appreciate the boutiques on the coast of Campania, followed by Australians (5%) and the Chinese (almost 5%). In the twelve months between May 2013 and May 2014, the data collected by Global Blue show a significant increase in the percentage of Brazilian purchases (+26%), while Ukrainians and Arabs have the record of highest average receipts (1,415 and 1,250 Euros respectively). Overall, during the period tax free shopping on the Amalfi coast grew by 7%.

In Versilia the Russians alone account for 60% of the tax free shopping, with a growth of 25% on the previous year. Followed by the Chinese (6%) and Ukrainians (4%), they see their purchases at an increase of 59% and 86% respectively. A smaller but dramatic increase in Korean shopping (+158%) and Lebanese (+132%), who also recorded very high average receipts amounting to 1,700 and 1,575 Euros was also recorded. Overall, in the period under review, tax free shopping in Versilia grew by 25% and sees an average receipt of just over 1,000 Euros, the highest figure among those seen in the Italian resorts.

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