The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched “Global Retail Tourism: Trends and Insights”, a report set to vary the approach we take into consideration purchasing tourism. The joint analysis between WTTC and the Hospitality & Tourism Research Centre of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in collaboration with The Bicester Collection, was printed throughout an occasion which befell at La Roca Village, half of The Bicester Collection, in Barcelona, Spain, to coincide with the Village’s 25th anniversary.
In 2019, retail tourism represented a considerable US$178BN, comprising 6% of the Travel & Tourism sector’s worth, and exceeding 15% in some locations. Despite this vital enhance to economies throughout the globe, it has traditionally been under-researched, resulting in an absence of important knowledge for strategic foresight.
The newest WTTC report addresses this hole, providing insights into travellers’ purchasing habits, together with visits to out-of-town retail locations, and highlights rising developments comparable to sustainable retail. This report sheds mild on the immense untapped potential of retail tourism for each locations and companies.
According to the report, this phase started to recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic in most markets in 2021, with the Americas and Europe main the approach. Demonstrating exceptional development, it outpaced general economies in nearly all markets pre-pandemic, showcasing its resilience and future development prospects.
Retail tourism is enjoying a pivotal position in the restoration of the Travel & Tourism sector, which noticed inbound tourism revenues surging by 82% in 2022. Shopping is now not only a leisure exercise; it shapes journey choices, enhances vacation spot attraction, boosts overseas alternate earnings, and helps native manufacturers and merchandise.
The report highlights rising themes, together with ‘retailtainment’ – the fusion of retail and leisure – to incentivise purchasing and improve the buyer’s expertise. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, stated: “Retail tourism is now not nearly shopping for souvenirs; it’s a driving pressure behind the restoration of the Travel & Tourism sector, contributing considerably to income, job creation, and general financial development.
“This report underscores the untapped potential of retail tourism and the want for stakeholders throughout the Travel & Tourism sector to adapt to altering traveller preferences. Travellers are on the lookout for genuine manufacturers that seize the tradition and uniqueness of their vacation spot, in addition to luxurious manufacturers in an opulent setting.
Desirée Bollier, The Bicester Collection Chair and Global Chief Merchant, stated: “Merging financial prosperity with enriching experiences, retail tourism uplifts communities whereas celebrating cultural heritage.
“A collaborative method between retail, journey, and tourism elevates the traveller’s journey, balancing sector development with acutely aware actions. Through vacation spot integrity, technological embrace, public-private cooperation, empathising with the traveller’s level of view and advocating for well-considered insurance policies, we chart the path for retail tourism’s dynamic future.”
Professor Haiyan Song, Director of Hospitality and Tourism Research Center in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, stated: “Sustainability in Travel & Tourism will continue to grow in significance after the COVID-19 pandemic and it is imperative that retailers understand how much shoppers and travellers are willing to pay for sustainable products.”
The report offers beneficial insights into the spending patterns and preferences of in the present day’s purchasing vacationers. It underscores the merging of experiential tourism with purchasing, assembly the calls for of retail vacationers. While high-street retailers stay widespread purchasing locations, out-of-town retail can be rising in reputation, with round one-third of survey respondents reporting visits to such locations. Additionally, on-line purchasing enhances fairly than substitutes conventional retail experiences.
The report additionally affords beneficial suggestions for stakeholders in retail tourism, offering steerage on easy methods to navigate these rising developments efficiently. While the future of retail tourism appears to be like optimistic, it’s important to acknowledge and deal with sure obstacles, together with challenges associated to labour legal guidelines and the affect of tax-free purchasing insurance policies.