GENEVA — The year 2014 saw continued growth of tax-free shopping around the world, with shoppers from the Chinese mainland being the biggest spending group, it was reported on Feb 11.
Statistics from Global Blue, a tourism shopping tax refund service provider, showed that compared to 2013, shoppers from the Chinese mainland spent 18 percent more on tax-free shopping in 2014 and accounted for nearly one third of the global total.
Shoppers from the Chinese mainland were the biggest spending group for the seventh consecutive year, spending an average 736 euros ($831.60) per transaction, said David Baxby, chief executive officer of Global Blue.
The top five globe shoppers came from the Chinese mainland, Russia, the United States, Indonesia and Japan.
Due to the plunge of the Russian rouble, Russian traveler’s spending last year witnessed a year-on-year decline of almost 17 percent. Russians’ spending accounted for 14 percent of the global tax-free shopping.
Paris remained the most popular shopping city and ranked five times as the preferred city, followed by London, Singapore, Milan and Rome.
The most popular destination for Chinese, American and Japanese travelers was Paris, while Russian tourists preferred Milan, according to Global Blue.
Almost 50 percent of purchases were related to fashion and clothing, by far the largest category globally, followed by watches and jewelry at 17 percent, said Global Blue.