It’s no secret that the dollar buys much more for international visitors to the U.S. than it does at home. This summer, shopping centers across the U.S. saw a spike in international travelers shopping and dining on their properties. According to recent research by the U.S. Department of Commerce, year-to-date international arrivals through May were up 12% from the same time period in 2007 and forecasted to continue to climb along with spending. This is all good news for shopping centers offering travelers a wide range of fashion, home and electronic products from favorite brand names and exclusive designer labels.
General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP), the nation’s second largest shopping center developer / management company understands the importance of travelers who visit their shopping centers during holiday or business trips. From a portfolio of over 200 centers they own and manage nationwide, they have branded an elite collection of 26 shopping centers as America’s Premier Shopping Places. These renowned centers draw millions of visitors from around the world each year to experience the unique culture, history, flavor and heritage of America’s metropolitan cities and vacation destinations. In addition, travelers are able to enjoy the top two international travel activities of shopping and dining (according to research by The Travel Industry Association of America), often at half the cost of purchases at home.
“General Growth Properties recognizes the importance of shopping and dining in today’s travel itineraries,” said Kay Standon, vice president of strategic development for GGP. “Many times we find that international visitors will arrive with empty suitcases or purchase suitcases once they arrive, and return to their countries filled to capacity.” The company recently hosted three major events at their Las Vegas centers during International Pow Wow, including the official media brunch where guests were dazzled with restaurant tastings and a major production showcasing the destination in the center of Fashion Show Mall.
In addition to favorable exchange rates, all domestic and international visitors to America’s Premier Shopping Places receive a Premier Passport filled with thousands of dollars in shopping and dining savings, special offers and amenities. Premier Passports are available to travelers in three languages, English, Spanish and Japanese. The four-color pre-printed vouchers are available free of charge to travel professionals and distributed through participating travel agents, tour operators and meeting planners along with customers’ travel documents. In addition, travel professionals can print a “voucher on demand” by visiting www.americasshoppingplaces.com, or they can request a pdf of the voucher which can be emailed to their clients’ before departing on their trip. These vouchers are available in English, Spanish, Japanese, French, German and Mandarin.
Indeed, with the current exchange rate, international travelers are finding that the money they save on shopping in the U.S. often times offsets the cost of their entire vacation trip. “For instance, a designer dress that may retail for $300 on High Street in London, could be found stateside for only $160,” said Ms. Standon. “Then this retailer may offer an additional discount in the Premier Passport program. In addition, several of America’s Premier Shopping Places’ destinations such as New Orleans, Texas, and Portland offer international travelers a tax-free or tax-back program, adding on additional savings. So that same $300 dress from High Street may be purchased for $140 in the U.S. When you add up the savings for multiple purchases on clothing, electronics and home items, it’s an enjoyable way to take a holiday or extend a business trip at very little cost!”
America’s Premier Shopping Places is an award-winning branded collection of tourism-oriented shopping centers located throughout the United States which are owned and/or managed by General Growth Properties, Inc. The centers are located in the heart of America’s best-loved cities as well as along America’s scenic highways and byways, attracting millions of visitors annually from around the world. For a complete listing of destinations and further information, along with high-resolution photos, visit www.americasshoppingplaces.com or contact Kathy Anderson, Travel & Tourism Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Growth Properties, Inc. is the second largest U.S.-based publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) based upon market capitalization. General Growth has ownership interest or management responsibility for a portfolio of more than 200 regional shopping malls in 45 states, as well as ownership interest in master-planned community developments and commercial office centers. General Growth’s international portfolio includes ownership and management interest in shopping centers in Brazil and Turkey. The Company’s portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet and includes more than 24,000 retail stores nationwide. General Growth Properties, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP.
Photo Link: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cps/apsp_shoppingdining08/