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Luxury Shopping Gets Major Boost from Worldwide Tourism Growth

Jul 24, 2013 1:01 am

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The growth of luxury sales comes from people traveling to destinations where high-end items are more affordable due to conversion rates; Chinese shoppers in Europe are the perfect example.

— Samantha Shankman

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Shoppers mill around outside Louis Vuitton in Champ-Elysees, Paris. Flickr


Growth in tourism spending worldwide accelerated to 14 percent in the second quarter from 10 percent in the first, Barclays analysts said on Tuesday, citing the latest figures from tax-free shopping facilitator Global Blue.

Data shows spending by Chinese tourists rose 22 percent, against 20 percent in the first quarter, while Russians spent 16 percent more, compared with 17 percent growth in the first quarter, Barclays said.

Spending in Europe grew 15 percent, up from 11 percent in the first three months of the year, Barclays added, citing figures from Global Blue, which operates a network of tax refund points for foreign shoppers.

The Swiss-based firm declined to confirm the figures which are due to be published on Wednesday.

In a boost to the luxury goods sector, a major beneficiary of tourist spending, worldwide tourism spending on watches and jewellery grew 3 percent in the second quarter, reversing a 3 percent decline in the first, Barclays said.

Leather and accessories spending growth doubled to 12 percent.

“With Q2 figures for most of the luxury sector due this week, Global Blue provides some optimism that tourism spend picked up modestly in the period,” the Barclays analysts said.

French luxury giant LVMH and Gucci owner Kering are due to publish second-quarter results on Thursday.

Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt and James Regan. Editing by Greg Mahlich.

Copyright (2013) Thomson Reuters.

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