Asian tourism is saving the luxury brand economy and the economic impact of purchases by Chinese tourists is taking off in Barcelona, strengthening the Asian giant in the ranking of buyers from non-EU countries, as published by “La Razon”. 

The World Luxury Association predicts that consumption of top of the range goods this year will reach a record 59 billion euros worldwide, with China as its main driving force. In 2011, Catalonia received over 70,000 Chinese tourists whose main aim was to go shopping in Barcelona. Only in the first 10 months of the year, Chinese shoppers spent 15 million euros, representing an increase of 60% over the previous year.

Although the presence of Chinese tourism in Barcelona increasingly carries more weight, it is still well below the Russian buyer, who leads the ranking of VAT refunds by Tax Free cheques in the capital. The Chinese, in the first quarter of 2011, occupied the fifth non-EU country place in this ranking.

Director of Value Retail Business in Spain, Elena Foguet, said that "the Chinese customer is very important for luxury outlets." The British company Value Retail, which is responsible for managing this type of shopping centres, is already committed to China as its future consumer. The Chinese are customers who like to buy above all luxury watches and women's handbags.

The interest of the luxury sector in the Asian giant was recently demonstrated with a trip by the Catalan delegation to China, led by the head of the Catalan Agency for Tourism, Xavier Espasa.




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