Spain attracts 13% of luxury tourists compared to 30% in France

Spain occupies the seventh position in the list of the main countries receiving travellers with high purchasing power.

France ranks first in attracting these tourists, with 36%, followed by the United Kingdom and Italy, with 31%.

Despite the progress made in recent years, Spain is still not a reference destination for tourists with high purchasing power. Only attracts 13% of these travelers compared to countries like France, United Kingdom and Italy, which exceed 30%, according to the report ‘The luxury tourist in Spain, an unknown?’ prepared by the international tax free operator Global Blue.

Photo: Jacques Sterm
Photo: Jacques Sterm

With about 83 million international tourists received in 2018, Spain is the second largest tourist power in the world, behind France, but ranks seventh in the ranking of the main countries receiving travelers with high purchasing power, as highlighted yesterday in Madrid Jacques Stern, CEO of Global Blue. He presented the report at the conference on the luxury sector “Excellence Day de Círculo Fortuny”, which this occasion took place under the slogan “Excellence, crafts and culture, main engines of elite tourism.

The ranking led by France, which captures 36% of these travelers, followed by the United Kingdom and Italy, both destinations with 31%.

Tourists of high purchasing power account for only 0.5% of the total, but concentrate 17% of tax free sales that are made in shops. However, in our country their spending is up to 62% lower compared to other destinations in our environment.

Spain captures 37% of the budget of these travelers, with an average expenditure of 22,000 euros, while in countries such as the United Kingdom reaches 60%, where their disbursement reaches an average of 35,000 euros in purchases.
The Fortuny Circle held yesterday a day on luxury tourism at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, in which the CEO of Global Blue Jacques Stern, presented the latest study on tax free purchases of his company.

The executive stressed the importance of knowing this traveler, their preferences, motivations and habits to adapt the offer to their objectives, generate a greater willingness to spend and improve their experience, since, “in addition to attracting them, we must retain and give them the treatment of a VIP traveler,” he said.

A process in which “the big data, which is the present, not the future, is very important,” he said.

He also referred to the importance of promoting the destination and improving air connectivity. “We must invest to position Spain in the long term,” he said.

The profile of the traveler with high purchasing power corresponds to that of a woman, often millennial, from Asia, who travels between three and four times a year and has a stay of between five and ten days in each trip, according to the study.

Its annual expenditure is between 50,000 and 210,000 euros, especially in exclusive luxury items, with a predilection for jewelry (45%) and accessories (32%), rather more than fashion (18%).

In terms of nationalities, China is the one that brings the most luxury tourists to Europe. In Spain, they account for 39% of travellers with the greatest spending capacity, quite a distance from those coming from other markets in Southeast Asia (11%) and the Persian Gulf (9%) – in other European countries they account for 15% and 14% respectively. “These countries are not sufficiently well represented in Spain,” said Stern.

Chinese elite travelers are usually between 20 and 30 years old, those from the United States are over 50, and those from the Middle East are between 35 and 4 years old.

Russian market

On the other hand, as explained by the CEO of Global Blue, elite travelers from Russia and Latin America represent 10% and 8% of the arrivals of travelers with more spending capacity, while globally these nationalities barely reach 6% and 2%, respectively.