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Tourism to Greece Stimulates Tax Free Shopping in 2021

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Tax free shopping in Greece did well this year achieving 77 percent in turnover in June-September 2021 compared to the corresponding period in 2019, bringing the country in the lead in Europe, said tax free shopping provider Global Blue.

According to findings released by the Switzerland-based company, Greece was way ahead of other popular destinations such as France, Italy and Spain, where shopping activities reached 38 percent on average.

On the back of a good year given the circumstances, Global Blue expects tax free shopping in Greece to make an even stronger comeback in 2022.

Leading the way in duty-free purchases this year were travelers from Israel, the Middle East, the US and Russia, generating turnover and boosting average shopping spending to 132 percent over 2019. Meanwhile, British travelers joining the tax free ranks after Brexit earlier this year helped strengthen purchases, ranking fourth overall and accounting for 5 percent of all buys.

Looking at the value of markets by region, Attica – which also includes Athens – was at the top accounting for 49 percent of the tax free shopping activity, followed by Mykonos at 28 percent and the Region of Macedonia with 12 percent.

According to the findings, Mykonos managed to recoup 2019 levels reaching 104 percent of the market value, while Santorini doubled average duty free spending to 216 percent.

The majority of international buyers (seven in 10) bought clothing and footwear, while travelers who purchased jewelry/watches doubled average spending to 204 percent.

Looking ahead, analysts expect an even higher rate of recovery next year. According to an international survey conducted by Global Blue, 70 percent of those polled (September-October) expressed their willingness to travel provided there would be no Covid-19 quarantine conditions compared to 62 percent in July-August. The rate increases to 76 percent for elite travelers and frequent flyers. 

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