Chinese tourists lead the boom in Asian luxury shopping

Sunday, March 31st, 2013. Filed under: Asian News Destinations
A woman carries luxury shopping bags in Hong Kong. Tourists from mainland China enjoy added cachet from foreign-bought items. © AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez

A woman carries luxury shopping bags in Hong Kong.
Tourists from mainland China enjoy added cachet from foreign-bought items.
© AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez

(Relaxnews) – A new report published by the HSBC group titled “The Bling Dynasty’ explores the growing dominance of Chinese tourists in several key Asian luxury markets.

According to HSBC’s report, Chinese citizens will make 88 million trips out of the country this year, a figure set to grow to 155 million by 2020. The study explored figures for Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Macau.

There’s still plenty of variation between the markets: Chinese shoppers account for 15 percent of sales in Taiwan, but up to 75 percent in Macau. Nonetheless the trend is growing, widespread and strong.

Many Chinese travel to avoid paying high surcharges (a mixture of import duties, VAT, and consumption tax which can hit nearly 60 percent of the cost of some items) on foreign luxury goods purchased domestically. According to HSBC’s China Luxury Tax Report, the country raised US $187.9 billion via these so-called ‘luxury taxes’ in 2010.

Consumers in the country also enjoy added cachet from foreign-bought items, which are seen to be less likely to suffer from China’s endemic problems with counterfeit goods.

The China-based Global Times recently published an article titled “Keep China’s big spenders at home”, bemoaning policy makers’ inability to keep more of the estimated $85 billion spent overseas by Chinese tourists in 2012 inside the country.

While Chinese spending abroad continues to accelerate, “changing the luxury retail landscape of certain cities,” according to the HSBC report, analysts Bain Capital note that growth at home is slowing. Domestic growth in luxury “fell 30 percent in 2011 to just 7 percent in 2012,” according to the Global Times, while in the same period, foreign spending by Chinese citizens grew 30 percent.

The long-term effects remain to be seen as luxury players invest heavily both in China, and in the markets most favored by Chinese tourists. For now the Chinese are traveling for their luxury purchases, and the trend doesn’t look set to change.

Share Button

Related posts

Harvey Nichols to open Qatar locationLondon hotel collaborates with Jimmy Choo for designer tea serviceHate packing? Get someone else to do itFur and seduction for Jason Wu in New YorkThe most popular 2015 travel destination among Asians: JapanHow department stores are dressing up their windows this ChristmasBeverly Hills hotel launches ‘Pretty Woman’ packageWorld’s largest shopping mall in Dubai to house largest indoor theme parkChocolate makers try to charm Chinese with lunar new year bonbonsApple sets the date for its Asia Red Friday saleParis offers shopping passport to visitors over the holidaysBlackBerry planning another exclusive Porsche handsetHow Americans will be spending their summer holidays this yearTop spenders and top destinations in the world: reportChristopher Bailey’s Claridge’s Christmas tree revealedParis to be transformed into white-themed outdoor picnicAutumn fashion on the Paris catwalk looks dark and leggyVictoria Beckham to expand fashion line to AsiaAirlines tapping chefs from luxury hotels to rewrite in-flight menusAlexander McQueen to open Paris store