Andrew J. Wein - Oct 19, 2023
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Milan experienced a boom in international tourism in September, thanks to various events hosted during the month, starting with Fashion Week. The data from Global Blue, a Tax-Free Shopping leader, confirmed this information.

The recently concluded events recorded the highest tax-free spending and transactions, with an increase of 20% in international shoppers and a 35% increase in spending compared to the previous week. Specifically, between September 19 and 25, Milan experienced a recovery rate of tax-free spending of 137% compared to 2019 and 124% compared to 2022.

During the week, the number of transactions increased by 22% compared to the previous week. The average receipt was $1,417, 18% more than in 2019, and remained stable compared to last year's period (+1%). Americans made the highest contribution to spending, accounting for 19% of the total.

It's worth noting that during Fashion Week, the Chinese made a significant contribution, accounting for 17% of all sales. They also had the highest average receipt ever, at 2,066 euros - a 36% increase compared to their spending in 2019. Fashion and clothing were the most popular product categories, accounting for 84% of all purchases. Fashion and Clothing receipts were 1,360 euros, an increase of 9% from 2022 and 25% in 2019. Watches and Jewellery had the highest average receipts at 5,046 euros.

Most international shoppers during Fashion Week were young, with 50% belonging to GenZ and Millennials. The elite segment accounted for 6% of the total expenditure during Fashion Week, an increase of 50% from the previous week. Their average receipt was 10,500 euros.

During Fashion Week, Arab tourists in Milan accounted for 9% of tax-free spending. Milan is known for its art and attracts many tourists from the Gulf countries, particularly from Saudi Arabia, which dominates the market at 50%, followed by the United Arab Emirates (24%) and Kuwait (17%). In addition to Fashion Week, Arab tourists are interested in attending the Monza Grand Prix in September. This increases the demand for accommodation during these two periods. Arab tourists usually travel as a couple and prefer to stay in the historic center, with an average stay of three to four nights. They plan their trip relatively close to arrival, with an average booking window of only 50 days in advance.

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