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Chinese drive tax free transactions in Greece

Tax Free transactions are on a steady upward course as a result of increasing tourism traffic to Greece, with the Chinese leading the way, according to business consultants Planet.

Planet client data reveals a 30 percent rise in the number of tax free transactions in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year securing a positive upward trend in the last eight years.

According to Planet’s findings, tax free transactions by Chinese visitors grew by 66 percent. Purchases by American travelers grew by 21 percent, by Israelis by 32 percent and Balkan nationals by 22 percent against the corresponding period in 2017.

Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura expressed her satisfaction with the results via her twitter account: “66 percent increase of Chinese visitors’ tax free transactions in Greece in the first half of ’18 – The opening of China’s tourism market is a strategic priority. We are pleased to see our actions perform,” she said.

Planet analysts go on to note the positive effect of the lower limit implemented last year – at 50 euros from 120 euros – which resulted in the stabilization of the tax free average at 320 euros.

Indicatively, the tax free average for Chinese visitors in the first half of the year came to 414 euros, while US travelers prefer to spend more – at 544 euros – per transaction, followed by Russian holidaymakers spending approximately 326 euros and Israelis at 183 euros.

According to Planet, the top five nationalities driving the tax free market are: Egypt marking a 47 percent increase, Singapore up by 112 percent, Switzerland up by 32 percent and Korea stronger by 202 percent compared to the first half of 2017.

In relevant news, Attica Stores announced last month that it was relying on tax free shopping to boost sales, which grew at a 22 percent rate in the first six months of 2018, with its central Attica shop at City Link recording a 25 percent rise in tax free sales, with the Chinese accounting for 8.6 percent of total sales in that period, or 8.75 million euros.