Milan, November 15th (askanews) – Tourism, after two years of the pandemic, has restarted with great momentum in Europe. Tax free shopping has benefited, which has recovered pre-Covid values, driven by the strong protagonism of the Americans, who have more than compensated for the absence of Russian and Chinese tourists. Italy and France are driving the recovery, explained Pier Francesco Nervini of Global Blue, leader in the tax-free sector, during the 21st Altagamma Observatory.
“The summer of 2022 was crackling beyond any rosy forecast – said Nervini, COO North & Central Europe & Global accounts of Global Blue -. By now in practically all European countries we have recovered the volumes and we have even surpassed the volumes of 2019 in some situations, driven by macroeconomic elements such as the weakness of the euro, which favored purchases by Americans in particular, but also linked to a strengthening of purchasing behavior that we feared was, or could be conditioned by the two-year hiatus and in reality it has experienced a great relaunch. For which we have confirmed with satisfaction the strengthened desire for luxury, the desire for Made Italy, the desire to come to Europe to buy. And Italy in this played a very important role”.
The exploit for tax free shopping was undoubtedly driven this year by US tourism which recorded figures higher than pre-Covid, with a spending capacity 2.3 times higher than in 2019. “I believe that each of us he was able to touch the presence of American tourists in our countries – underlined Nervini – The truth is that not only were there more, but they bought much more, and this facilitated a general recovery, a new spirit, that is the resume an activity, that of the tax free, which had been absolutely stopped for two years.The whole of Europe – he continued – has also reaped another advantage, which was that of the cancellation by the government of Boris Johnson of the tax free in the UK: this decision led to a transfer of the trip to continental Europe and France and Italy have found a huge benefit”.
For our country, the hope is that the minimum threshold for activating tax free shopping, currently set at 154.94 euros, will be reduced, if not eliminated: it would constitute a decisive lever to make Italian tourism even more competitive and attract more international tourists. “Many countries – concluded Nervini – have lowered or completely eliminated it and probably in terms of competitive dynamics within Europe it would be absolutely worth removing it. A study by Oxford Economics shows that there is no other better investment for a State than to tax-free investment because the direct and indirect return on state finances is absolutely positive”..