Tourism Takes A Shopping Trip

Shopping tourism is becoming one of the most well-used tools in destination promotion according to a panel of experts participating in the World Tourism Organization’s second annual conference on shopping tourism, which was held at FITUR 2016.

Yolanda Perdomo, director of the affiliate members Program at UNWTO, observed that shopping tourism “is a highly relevant component for travellers when choosing and preparing their trip.”

The WTO event presented the latest figures, trends and strategies on shopping tourism, as well as looking at how this segment is transforming the promotion of destinations worldwide.

Jörn Gieschen, researcher at the Instituto de Empresa (IE) and the MasterCard Observatory on Premium Markets and Prestige Products underlined that “shopping tourism is intimately related to city travel which constitutes 58% of the total.”

Gieschen said: “There is an additional concept about shopping tourism: that of small and local shopping experiences which according to our research is much more attractive for travelers than the big global brands.”

One of the trends shared was the so-called ‘Bleisure’ — the combination of Business and Leisure. “58% of business travelers add a day or even a weekend to their business trip” he said.

Maria José Pérez, from ‘Madrid 7 stars’, an initiative that engages 300 brands, commented that 80% of Chinese tourists who travel to Madrid position shopping as a major motivation.

Eva Ruiz Cendon, director of marketing at Mastercard indicated that “despite the fact that 80% of payments worldwide are done in cash, electronic and mobile payments offer excellent opportunities for businesses.”

Michel Durrieu, director of tourism at the Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Development in France, raised the issue of sustainability and shopping tourism, mentioning a recent innovation – the digital certificate.

Durrieu also talked about the fact that shopping and gastronomy are major criteria to decide on destinations, and therefore should be included in any strategy. Diversity, price and quality, opening hours, customer orientation in shops, handicrafts and souvenirs quality were mentioned by the Director of Tourism in France, as key aspects to advance in shopping tourism.