MADRID, Spain – “One of the most used tools in the promotion of destinations” this is how Shopping Tourism was described at the opening of the 2nd Conference on this segment, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on the occasion of the Spanish Tourism Fair (FITUR) (22 January 2016).
Shopping Tourism “is a highly relevant component for travelers when choosing and preparing their trip” underlined Yolanda Perdomo, Director of the Affiliate Members Programme at UNWTO.
The event included the presentation of the latest figures, trends and strategies on shopping tourism and of how this segment is transforming the promotion of destinations worldwide. Jörn Gieschen, Researcher at the Instituto de Empresa (IE) and the MasterCard Observatory on Premium Markets and Prestige Products underlined that “shopping tourism is intimately related to city travel which constitutes 58% of the total”.
“There is an additional concept about shopping tourism: that of small and local shopping experiences which according to our research is much more attractive for travelers than the big global brands” he added. One of the trends shared was the so-called ‘Bleisure’ – the combination of Business and Leisure. “58% of business travelers add a day or even a weekend to their business trip” he said.
Maria José Pérez, from ‘Madrid 7 stars’, an initiative that engages 300 brands, commented that 80% of Chinese tourists who travel to Madrid position shopping as a major motivation.
Eva Ruiz Cendon, Director of Marketing at Mastercard indicated that “despite the fact that 80% of payments worldwide are done in cash, electronic and mobile payments offer excellent opportunities for businesses.” She also shared the company’s
Priceless Cities Programme, that engages cities such as Madrid and New York. The initiative facilitates leisure activities in relevant destinations in cooperation with brands and shops.
One of the most awaited interventions of the 2nd Conference on Shopping Tourism was Michel Durrieu, Director of Tourism at the Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Development in France, who introduced the issue of sustainability linked to shopping tourism, mentioning a recent innovation: the digital certificate.
Speaking about the most visited city in the world, Paris, Durrieu added that shopping and gastronomy are major criteria to decide on destinations, and therefore should be included in any strategy. Diversity, price and quality, opening hours, customer orientation in shops, handicrafts and souvenirs quality were mentioned by the Director of Tourism in France, as key aspects to advance in shopping tourism.