Samuel Dorsi - Oct 17, 2011
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The amount of tourists coming to Latvia, especially the capital Riga, to shop is on the rise. The favorable shopping conditions mean that shoppers can enjoy great bargains without breaking their pockets.

Since its borders were open to tourists from all over, Riga has been popular for a number of reasons. Its exotic appeal, medieval sights and relatively low prices have proven successful in bringing foreign revenue.

Medical tourism has also played a significant role in Riga’s recent success, as has cheap partying. However, it seems to be the tax element, which is attracting more and more tourists to Latvian soil.

Tax-free shopping has provided a major boost to the tourism industry in the Baltic state. Tourists are able to claim VAT back on goods bought in Latvia yet intended for export.

This element of shopping makes the Latvian capital very attractive for all budgets. The unique boutiques in the old town of Riga are now even more affordable and attractive than before. Tourists now know that, even if they decide to splash out, a VAT bonus is waiting for them.

The VAT reclaim process may be carried out in numerous ways. There is the possibility of filling out a VAT form electronically through the Latvian administration system. Otherwise, the blue tax-free shopping log, which also appears in numerous EU countries, allows customers to buy goods in packaging with a VAT rebate for opening after export.

This entails a minimum spend of 40 euros, which subsequently encourages tourists to boost their budgets a little more than before. The “Global Blue” label is becoming a well-known brand, which breeds trust amongst shoppers in Riga.

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