Lebanon Businessnews News

Tax-free shopping down by nine percent
Emiratis increased their
local spending
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Tax-free shopping dropped by nine percent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the Global Blue ‘Insights into Tourist Spending Q4 2013’ report.

The market suffered from the sharp drop in tourism, especially from Arab countries. However, spending in Q4 2013 grew by four percent compared to Q4 2012.

Even though Saudis were the highest spenders, locally, they still spent 20 percent less than last year. Emiratis were the second highest spenders, but they were the sole Arab tourists to slightly increase their spending, by five percent. Kuwaiti tourists came in third, and cut their spending by 24 percent. However, French and Nigerian spending grew.

Tania Ezzeddine, Marketing Manager at ABC, said that tourists from the Middle East still constituted the purchasing cornerstone, locally, despite the remarkable drops in their numbers. “Raises were not significant in all nationalities of shoppers,” she said. According to her, they witnessed an increase in sales during the month of December, driven by the holiday season, which dropped shortly thereafter because of instability.

Tourists mostly purchased fashion and clothing, with 71 percent of overall spending. But this sector also dropped by 11 percent compared to last year. Watches and jewelry came second with 12 percent of the shopping made locally. Spending on souvenirs and gifts and on electronics and household appliances showed a slight growth, each with 14 percent and five percent, respectively.
The figures published by Global Blue Lebanon SAL throughout this report represented purchases made by tourists, whose VAT refunds were claimed.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Jan 13, 2014
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