Over the last 10 years, the tax-free trend in Milan has been positive, and since 2010, the Lombard capital has seen an increase in Chinese tourists who, in the 2-year period 2015-2016, have come to visit the city. From 2006 to present, however, the Russians and Americans, albeit with swinging trends, have maintained a constant presence in Italy.
This is one of the trends that has emerged from an analysis conducted by Global Blue, a tax-free shopping company. Francesco Pesenti Barili, UnionPay International’s senior market representative, created the opportunity to compare tourist flows, especially the Chinese one, in Milan and in Italy.
Global Blue’s figures show a positive first semester for the tax-free sector with sales up 11% on 2016 both in Milan and Italy and a substantially unchanged average buyout of €1,029 in Milan and €768 in Italy.
From January to June, tax free sales were driven mainly by Russians with percentages increasing by 30% in Milan and by 38% in Italy compared to the first half of 2016. The average spending budget fell slightly by -3% in the city of the Duomo (922 euros) and in the Peninsula (664 euros). Chinese shopping carried a 33% weight in Milan and 30% in Italy.
Purchases, compared with the same 6 months last year, recorded +16% in Milan and +13% in Italy with an average ticket of +4% (1,275 euros) in the Lombardy capital and + 6% throughout the year.
A positive trend has also developed for Americans who bought 16% more than in 2016 in Milan and 12% more in Italy, which in 2016 remains unchanged in Milan (1,102 euros) and slightly increased in Italy, +2% (918 euros).
Over the last decade, Milan has been the destination of choice for Russian and American tourists in Italy, a trend that has been confirmed in the April-June quarter. In these three months, tax-free sales rose by +9% in Milan and +8% in Italy with unchanged average sales: 1,044 euros (+1%) in the Lombardy capital and 777 euros (+2%) in rest of Italy. In April and June, shopping was driven by purchases by Russian travelers (+22% in Milan and +27% in Italy), Chinese (+18% in Milan and +12% in Italy). and Americans (+16% in Milan and +9% in Italy). Calano, on the other hand, purchases of Arabs (-10% in Milan and -8% in Italy).
In terms of spending budget, Chinese travelers have increased their average fare more: +5% in Milan (1,273 euros) and +8% in Italy (955 euros).
Milan confirms that as the capital to buy the most fashionable clothing items of the moment, the “Moda & Accessori” merchandise category marked a 9% increase over 2016 in the reference quarter with an average spending of 1,044 euros.
56% of London’s capital shopping is realized in the quadrilateral, where tax-free sales accounted for +8% over the same quarter of 2016 with an average key issue of 1,394. The preferred route is via Montenapoleone with purchases that recorded a +13% and an average price of 1,810 euros (+4%). Chinese tourists (+20%) followed the Russians (+18%) and Americans (+16%) are among the main visitors of the city.