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Chinese tourists Portugal’s most valuable tax-free shoppers: survey

A survey suggests that of all tourists to Portugal last year, those from China spent the most on average on tax-free shopping items; Portuguese news agency Lusa reported this week.

According to statistics from Global Blue, the average aggregate value in 2015 of tax-free shopping purchases by Chinese visitors in Portugal was 641 euros (US$724.07). It was more than twice the average aggregate of 278 euros spent by visitors to Portugal from the country’s top five feeder markets.

Global Blue is a Switzerland-based company that offers services to merchants wishing to offer tax refunds to shoppers from overseas.

Tax-free shopping outlets offer either a post-sale refund on duties payable, or offer goods already exempt from any sales tax.

The average aggregate value of purchases made by Chinese tourists in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, was 765 euros, compared with the average of 335 euros made by visitors from Portugal’s top five markets providing inbound tourists, Lusa reported.

Global Blue said the market in Portugal for shopping-focused tourism was growing. It added the Government could do more in revamping the tax refund scheme; and in encouraging more investments in the field. It said most of the growth in the number of such visitors would be likely to come from Asian markets.