According to the research, US tax-free spending increased in April and is now double what it was in February, with the average spending per transaction at around €1,150.
Asian tourists now account for 40% of all tax-free sales across Europe. In Europe, 55% of Chinese spending now goes to France and Italy, with €1,366 per transaction. France remains Europe’s top destination for US tax-free payments (52.5%), followed by Italy (25.2%).
In addition, Planet states that Chinese tax-free payments in these two countries rose by 12% in April 2023 compared to a month before.
China remains the second largest source of tax-free spending in the world; Chinese travellers spend 12% in tax-free purchases around the world. The average age of Chinese shoppers has increased substantially over the past 12 months. While Gen Z accounted for roughly 40% of sales in April 2022, that number dropped to only 10% in 2023, while Gen Y jumped from 44% to 66% during the same period.
Luca Cassina, president of Retail at Planet, commented: “As a global business serving retailers across many European markets, we’re delighted to see continued strong growth in their Tax-Free schemes.
“But at the same time, our data highlights the need to put UK retailers back on a level playing field with their European counterparts through the reintroduction of the Tax-Free scheme”, Cassina added. “We know that UK retailers would also welcome the revenue boost that these high spending visitors would deliver.”
Tax-free spending will grow significantly in the following years, as countries report a revival in cross-border travel.
The Asia-Pacific region, which in 2022 saw only $91bn in tourism expenditure, will benefit from a sharp rise in international visits. Countries desperate to attract tourists have started to lift travel bans, with China leading the way.
For that reason, GlobalData analysts reckon tourists will spend $576bn in Asia-Pacific in 2023. The region’s global share in international tourism expenditure will rise from just 9.04% in 2022 to 30.26% in 2023.