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Greece 2019 Tax Free Shopping on Upward Trend

Retail shop on Mykonos. Photo: GTP

In tune with forecasts, Greece’s tax free shopping market is showing growth, with the total number of transactions marking a 22 percent increase in the January-September 2019 period, according to data released by solutions firm Global Blue.

More specifically, nine-month findings also indicate a 29 percent rise in purchase value compared to the same period last year, and a 6 percent increase in average consumption.

Leading tax free shoppers buying from Greece are once again the Chinese, accounting for 31 percent of all purchases, followed by  American travelers at 14 percent, and Israeli visitors (6 percent).

Global Blue notes however that the Chinese buying trend is declining overall.

Chinese shopping

Photo Source: Global Blue

In terms of purchase value, visitors form the US account for 54 percent, Egyptians 50 percent, Israelis 41 percent, and Canadians 39 percent.

Meanwhile, travelers from Egypt drove up the number of transactions in the nine-month period by 48 percent, followed by the Israelis by 37 percent, and Americans by 36 percent.

Attica is Greece’s winning destination in terms of value of transactions, accounting for 64 percent of the total, followed by Mykonos with 14 percent, and Macedonia with 12 percent.

Athens. Greece Photo Source: @Athens Attica

Athens. Greece Photo Source: @Athens Attica

Tax free shopping (TFS) is picking up pace across Greece, according to Global Blue analysts. Indicatively, TFS rose by 68 percent in the Peloponnese from January to September 2019, by 41 percent on the Ionian Islands, and by 35 percent on Santorini.

Favorite items for tax free shoppers were fashion-apparel, where they spent 52 percent of their budgets, and jewelry and watches (23 percent).

“Maintaining tax free shopping market growth requires modernizing, simplifying procedures and digitizing customs. Transforming existing processes and upgrading services provided to value added services will make state control mechanisms more effective and efficient,” said Manthos Dimopoulos, managing director Global Blue.

“At the same time, digitizing VAT refund procedures will offer the country multiple benefits, such as automated procedures, slashing customs times, security, transparency, saving money, increasing trade and improving our national image abroad,” Dimopoulos concludes.

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