Worldwide, shopping tours play an important part on one in three holidays spent abroad, according to a special survey by the World Travel Monitor, carried out by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin.
The role that shopping plays for tourists varies, depending on the type of holiday. Unsurprisingly, tourists on city breaks valued shopping opportunities most.
“Shopping has become a mainstay of the tourism industry in many places and also ensures that a destination can make additional income,” Dr. Martin Buck, director of Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin, said.
Worldwide, shopping was found to be important for 50 percent of tourists visiting major cities, and among Asian tourists the ratio rose to over 80 percent. Thus, in addition to a city’s attractions and its flair, its shopping opportunities were found to be among the three most important reasons for a city break. Apart from visitors on city breaks one in three tourists on a round trip or beach holiday regarded shopping as important.
“Many holiday destinations now cater for wealthy customers with attractive shopping malls and exclusive services,” Dr. Buck added.
Popular shopping destinations
Destinations in western Europe, Asia as well as the USA were seen as the most popular for enjoying shopping. Among western European countries the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey topped the rankings, while in Asia, China, Thailand, Singapore and South Korea were among the countries most popular for going shopping.
Topping the survey’s international list of countries whose travelers went on the most shopping tours was China, followed by Malaysia and India. For more than 50 percent of tourists from these countries shopping was important on their holidays abroad. Shopping was also very important for tourists from South America, in particular from Mexico, Argentina and Chile. By contrast, only 30 percent of US-American holidaymakers were interested in shopping, making them less keen than most. Among Europeans shopping was most popular with Finns, followed by Germans, French, Swedes and Russians, whereas for Britons and Italians it played a less important role.
Shopping was found to be popular with people of all ages and regardless of education and wealth. It enjoyed equal popularity among people with high travel expenses and those with less costs. The only difference the findings of the World Travel Monitor revealed was that female holidaymakers did more shopping than men.