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Brazil overtakes China and Russia as source of tourists for Europe

The macroeconomic and political context weighs down China and Russia. Covid-19-related restrictions in China have drastically reduced the flow of travelers from that country, and the war between Russia and Ukraine has weakened both powers regarding tourist issuance in Europe.

In their place, Latin American travelers, especially those from Brazil, have broken into the top ten markets for tourists to Europe in June, according to a report by the consultancy Planet.

Brazilian tourists have joined the Americans and the British, who maintain a prominent flow of purchases since, as the consultancy explains, “due to the Brexit, they are now eligible for tax-free purchases within the territory”.

Barcelona is the second-most visited city, behind only Paris.
Barcelona is the second-most visited city, behind only Paris. (Photo: internet reproduction)

Last June alone, tax-free sales in Europe, i.e., those made by non-EU visitors, increased fivefold compared to the same period in 2021. In Spain, the figure is still 28% below those achieved in the same month last year.

Compared to 2019, just before the pandemic outbreak, so far this year, Spain is still 42% below the level of sales recorded.

This figure drops to 59% and 75% less in countries such as Italy or Germany. In parallel, one of the countries that stands out, but in a positive way, is Portugal, which has only fallen 6% short of the figures recorded in the same period of 2019.

The British tourists profile after Brexit, who became the second largest group of non-EU shoppers on the continent, spent an average of €1,236 (US$1,264) per person on tax-free shopping, with Barcelona being the second-most visited city, behind only Paris. Spain is also the third European market in which this profile of tourists has spent the most.

This year, there has been an increase in the number of British consumers belonging to generations Y and Z, who “take advantage of the tax benefits of the European Union to make luxury purchases, a sector in which they have deposited more than half of their spending, up to 54%,” the study highlights.

“In a context of not very optimistic forecasts, it is worthwhile for retailers to plan if they are getting the maximum benefits from the favorable situation and if they carry out their operations without inefficiencies,” said Jorge Esteban, head of retail for southern Europe at Planet, in a statement.

Likewise, the non-EU visitors who visited Spain the most in June were Americans, with 18% of the total, spending an average of €597 per visitor, followed by Argentines, Mexicans, and British, who accounted for 7% of total visits to the country, individually.

With information from Modaes

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