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Lower Purchase Limits Boost Tax Free Shopping in Greece by 12%

Photo source: ESEE

Tax free shopping picked up pace in Greece over the last 12 months, marking a 63 percent increase in sales and a 12 percent rise in purchase value attributed to a lower limit – at 50 euros from 120 euros, according to refund company Global Blue.

An additional 85,000 transactions were carried out in the 12-month period across all markets with the value of sales up by 10 million euros compared to the same period last year, Global Blue found.

Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Total transactions in the 12-month November 2016-October 2017 period grew by 8 percent while the value of purchases was up by 5 percent according to the Switzerland-based firm which took into account transactions exceeding 120 euros.

On the downside, the average value per transaction declined by 3 percent, Manthos Dimopoulos, managing director of Global Blue Hellas, told Greek daily Naftemporiki, citing the lower limit, which he said was offset however by the number of purchases.

Emerging buyers are Lebanon nationals increasing the value of their transactions in the last 12 months by 37.59 percent. Other markets spending in Greece are Albania up 14.56 percent, Indonesia up 13.19 percent and Taiwan stronger by 11.75 percent.

Athens and Central Greece hold the lead with a 66.6 percent share in the value of tax free transactions, followed by Mykonos which increased its share to 12.8 percent over the last 12 months, Santorini at 3.9 percent, Crete with 2.4 percent, the Dodecanese islands at 1.7 percent, the Ionian isles with 0.6 percent and the rest of Greece at 0.9 percent.

The report goes on to note that China, Russia and US nationals account for 50 percent of the value of all sales with the Chinese holding 34 percent of the total, US travelers at 11 percent and Russians at 8 percent.

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