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Chinese still the greatest tax-free shoppers

Chinese spending on tax-free shopping rose 20 per cent in 2013, according to tax refund specialist Global Blue.

Its figures reveal Chinese shoppers are still the most dominant tax-free shoppers in the world, followed by Russians.

“Since 2009 tax-free shopping spend has increased an average 26 per cent every year. For the sixth consecutive year, Chinese globe shoppers are the biggest spending nationality, spending on average €815 per transaction,” said Global Blue CEO Per Setterberg.

China and Russia were followed by Indonesia, US, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Hong Kong as the top shopper nations in 2013.

Meanwhile, the top cities visited by globe shoppers were Paris, London, Singapore, Milan, Rome, Munich, Frankfurt, Seoul, Vienna and Berlin.

Paris was the top destination for the Chinese, American, Japanese and Hong Kong tourists, while Indonesians and Malaysians travelled to Singapore the most, Russians to Milan and Thais, Saudi Arabians and Emiratis to London.

Eighty-two per cent from China, 56 per cent from the Middle East and 48 per cent from Russia said tax-free shopping makes up an important part of their itineraries, Global Blue finds.

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