Tax-Free shopping down by 15 percent. Baabda, the new shopping hub - Lebanon

Tax-Free shopping down by 15 percent
Baabda, the new shopping hub
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Spending during the first quarter of this year is down by 15 percent, compared to the same period of last year according to Global Blue ‘Insights into Tourists Spending’, and up by around 21 percent, compared to the last quarter of 2013.

Joe Yacoub, Country Manager of Global Blue said that Christmas season tourism affects this increase. “Expenditure during Christmas and New Year are taken into consideration with the calculations of the first quarter of the following year,” he said.

Spending witnessed a drop in all regions except for Baabda which had an unusual 160 percent increase year-on-year. Yacoub said that this is due to the Beirut City Center opening in Hazmieh. Kesserwan was the most down (23 percent). Beirut followed with a 17 percent drop.

UAE tourists topped the list, surpassing Saudi Arabians who were always the number one contributors to foreign expenditure.

Fashion and clothing are still the most sold items to tourists (70 percent of transactions), followed by watches and jewellery (14 percent). Compared to last year, fashion and clothing has witnessed a 17 percent drop.

Among all retail sectors, only watches and jewellery showed a slight increase.

The figures published by Global Blue are based on tourist and non-resident VAT claims.

Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Apr 04, 2014