Shopping is a highly relevant component for travelers when choosing and preparing their trip said Yolanda Perdomo, Director of the Affiliate Members Programme at UNWTO.
Shopping Tourism was on the UNWTO agenda at a conference organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on the occasion of the Spanish Tourism Fair (FITUR) (22 January 2016).
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said, “Shopping is becoming an increasingly relevant component of the tourism value chain. Shopping has converted into a determinant factor affecting destination choice, an important component of the overall travel experience and, in some cases the prime travel motivation. Destinations have thus an immense opportunity to leverage this new market trend by developing authentic and unique shopping experiences that add value to their touristic offer while reinforcing, and even, defining their tourism brand and positioning.
“More importantly, shopping is one of the major categories of tourists’ expenditure, representing a significant source of income for national economies both directly and through the many linkages to other sectors in the economy.”
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.
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”.
"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" he added. 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.
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.” She also shared the company’s Priceless Cities Programme, that engages cities such as Madrid and New York. The initiative facilitates leisure activities in relevant destinations in cooperation with brands and shops.
One of the most awaited interventions of the 2nd Conference on Shopping Tourism was Michel Durrieu, Director of Tourism at the Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Development in France, who introduced the issue of sustainability linked to shopping tourism, mentioning a recent innovation: the digital certificate. 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.
For more details about the subject, read UNWTO Global Report on Shopping Tourism