By Elif Ferhan Yesilyurt
ISTANBUL (AA) - Tourists visiting Turkey made more shopping in the first seven months of 2019, compared to the same period last year, according to a shopping tax refund firm’s Turkey branch.
The tourists’ shopping activities rose nearly 70% in the January-July period, Selim Seyhun, Turkey head of the Global Blue company, told Anadolu Agency.
"It showed that shopping grew due to the increasing number of visitors, not due to the inflation rate," Seyhun said.
He stressed that Chinese tourists' shopping activities jumped by 85%, while their share of tax-free shopping in Turkey increased by 2 percentage point to 22% in the same period.
Seyhun said Chinese tourists make over 40% of tax-free shopping in the EU and they usually choose luxury and world-known brands.
"For Chinese people, digital payment methods are important, if digital payment points are raised in Turkey, Chinese people's spending will be easy," he said.
Visitors from Gulf Countries made 24% of the share of all foreigners' shopping in the seven-month period, down from 27% in the same period last year, according to Seyhun.
Meanwhile, Qatari visitors made the largest average spending in Turkey with some 6,800 Turkish liras ($1,190) in the same period. It was followed by visitors from the United Arab Emirates ($1,146) and Germany ($962), he said.
Chinese visitors' average spending in Turkey exceeded 5,000 Turkish liras ($890), he added.
Seyhun said Chinese people and visitors from Gulf countries continue to show interest in luxury shopping.
"But European tourists do not see Turkey as a shopping destination," he said.
Israeli tourists posted the biggest increase on the shopping side with 182%, while Egyptians, Iraqis and Libyans followed it with 161%, 138% and 124%, respectively, he stressed.
Global Blue, established in 1980, enables foreigners with tax-free shopping in 51 countries, including Turkey.
*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun