Trend is back towards leisure
Tax free spending increased by 6.5 percent last year compared to 2017, according to Global Blue’s report: ‘Globe Shopper Spending Insights YTD – January to December 2018’. The report accounts for VAT refunds at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport and other borders.
Tax free spending grew 5.5 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.
“In mid-2017, tourist tax free spending started to increase. This coincided with the end of the military campaign on the Eastern borders. Tourists are more concerned about security rather than the economic situation,” said Joe Yaccoub, Managing Director of Global Blue Lebanon.
The spending trend is going more towards leisure, and an increase in the tourists’ tax free spending is witnessed, according to Yaccoub.
Syrian tourist’s tax free spending increased 65 percent, Qatari’s by 61 percent, Egyptian’s by 26 percent, Kuwaiti’s by 14 percent, and US tourist spending increased by seven percent. “Syrians, Qataris, Kuwaitis, and Egyptians are coming and spending more frequently than before,” Yaccoub said.