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Chinese Travelers Stimulating Greece’s Tax Free Market

Photo Source: Global Blue

Chinese travelers account for more than 40 percent of all 2018 tax free sales in Greece, according to findings presented by solutions firm Global Blue at an event in Athens, last week.

Speaking at “The Challenge of the Chinese Tourist Market” event held at NEW Hotel,  Ding Yonghua, Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, said that in 2018, outgoing tourism from China reached 150 million with travelers spending more than 231 billion euros, placing the Chinese in the lead globally.

Backing the data, Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary General Konstantinos Tsegas added that Greece is a favorite destination for the Chinese, particularly for “wedding tourism, city breaks and luxury travel”.

Tsegas added that for 2019, China’s three leading tour operators are forecasting an increase of up to 40 percent in the number travelers to Greece.

The Chinese are at the top of all tax free spending in Greece, accounting for 42 percent of transactions, with an average budget of 1,400 euros and opting to carry out their purchases in Attica (60 percent of all tax free sales) and the Cyclades islands.

According to Global Blue data, Greece attracts a small share of wallet (SOW) at 22 percent of Elite and Frequent Chinese travelers compared to other European destinations, adding that increasing flights between the two countries would contribute greatly to the tax free market.

Global Blue analysts underline that Greece must move ahead and develop its retail market of luxury goods, if it wishes to bring in more Elite Globe Shoppers.

“In order for Greece to evolve into a central European market destination, it must address two key challenges: tapping into visitors’ buying power and promoting its itself as a multi-choice destination”, explained Laurent Delmas, COO Global Blue.

Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

The event came to a close with a debate on the “Power of the Chinese Globe Shopper”, which focused on strategic marketing that will boost sales as well as successful retail practices.

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