Tourist spending in Turkey up by 70%

Shopping mall

The growing number of people visiting Turkey has resulted in an increase of 70% in shop purchases when compared to the same period last year. These figures came about from a survey that was carried out by Global Blue. Global Blue is responsible for collating data on tax-free shopping transactions in 51 countries across the world, and started operating in Turkey in 1996. From January to July this year both the spending and number of visitors from China were increased.

What countries are spending in Turkey?

Shopping transactions made by Chinese visitors were up 85% when compared to the same time last year. Shoppers from Qatar topped the list with an average spend of 6,782TL followed by shoppers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who recorded an average spend of 6,441TL and the third largest shoppers were from Germany.

From January to July, it was shoppers from Israel that had increased the most to a record 182% when compared to the same period last year. There was also increased tourist shopping numbers from Egypt up by 161%, Iraq up by 138% and Libya up by 124%.

Why is shopping in Turkey so attractive?

Selim Seyhun, General Manager at Global Blue confirmed to the AA (Andolu Agency) that from January to July this year the number of foreign visitors travelling to Turkey to shop has increased by 68% when compared to the same period last year. These figures were produced from the calculation of tax-free transactions.

Seyhun went on to confirm that Chinese and tourist visitors from Gulf countries showed the greatest demand for luxury products, explaining that: “European visitors, unfortunately, do not see Turkey as a shopping destination at least in organised retail. Only Germany has entered the top 15. The reason for this is the Turks who have German passports and visit their countries and relatives in the summer months.”

Growth in transactions is promising

When speaking about the growth in average spending over the last few years, Seyhun explained that: “This year, on the other hand, there are promising growth figures in transactions, which is actually a healthier growth. Because this shows that the increase in shopping is based not only on inflation but also on the high number of tourists.”

“While the Chinese held 20% of total tax-free shopping in the first seven months of last year, they reached 22% this year with an 85% growth. More than 40% of tax free purchases in Europe were made by the Chinese, and they often prefer luxury and well-renowned brands.”

Seyhun went onto stress that: “For the Chinese, payment systems and digital wallets are very important. As Turkey’s digital payment systems increase in sales point, it will be easier for Chinese people to spend. During their golden week, the expectation of the whole retail sector should be high.”


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