Chinese visitors to Portugal spending more than ever

Data compiled by tourist shopping tax refund company Global Blue indicate that each Chinese visitor to Portugal in the first four months of this year spent, on average, €718 (US$847) on duty-free goods, 28 percent more than in the corresponding period a year earlier, Expresso reports.

The Portuguese newspaper attributes the increase to the introduction of direct flights between Beijing and Lisbon.

The report says Chinese visitors like to buy branded clothing, watches and jewellery duty-free.

It quotes Global Blue President Jacques Stern as saying: “Chinese spend 60 percent of their travel budget on shopping, while Americans spend only 15 percent. Put simply, it takes four times more Americans than Chinese to obtain the same shopping spending value.”

On July 1 Portugal will begin refunding electronically tax paid on purchases made by visitors from outside Europe, to encourage them to do more shopping, Expresso says.