The key points
- At the European level, sales are down by 37% compared to 2019
- USA, UK, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are among the top spenders
- In Italy, the hotel sector recorded a + 7% on 2019
Tourists returned to Europe and started spending again, marking a surge in tax-free sales compared to last year. According to the latest data from the Intelligence Report of Planet, an integrated payment solutions company, in May tax free shopping registered a growth of 726% compared to the same period of 2021.
We have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels: at European level, sales are down by 37% compared to 2019, with the only growth performance recorded in Portugal (+ 5%). Italy, then, is below the average: -45% on 2019, behind France (-19%) and Spain (-32%) but ahead of Germany in free fall at -70 percent.
Leading the recovery are American consumers, who fully recover and exceed their 2019 spending by 36%, and the British: Italy attracted 19% of these customers, compared to 42% who instead chose to shop in France. In third and fourth place, on the other hand, we find tourists from Singapore, with an increase of + 99% on 2019, and from the United Arab Emirates. The same nationalities are found in the ranking of top spenders in Italy: USA in the lead, with an average receipt of 1,295 euros, followed by the United Arab Emirates (average receipt of 1,269 euros), United Kingdom (1,126 euros), Singapore (1,385 euros) and Saudi Arabia (806 euros).
The post-pandemic scenario sees spending concentrated in the hands of the super rich: those who spent an average of 12,000 euros in 2019, in fact, in the last 12 months have increased their spending by 36 percent.
In addition to shopping, the hotel sector is also recovering sharply, which exceeded pre-Covid levels: Southern Europe recorded a 2% growth in revenues compared to May 2019, thanks to the + 7% achieved in Italy.