The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched “Global Retail Tourism: Trends and Insights”, a report set to vary the manner we take into consideration procuring 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 revealed throughout an occasion which passed off 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 a scarcity of vital knowledge for strategic foresight.
The newest WTTC report addresses this hole, providing insights into travellers’ procuring habits, together with visits to out-of-town retail locations, and highlights rising traits reminiscent of sustainable retail. This report sheds mild on the immense untapped potential of retail tourism for each locations and companies.
According to the report, this section started to recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic in most markets in 2021, with the Americas and Europe main the manner. Demonstrating exceptional development, it outpaced total economies in nearly all markets pre-pandemic, showcasing its resilience and future development prospects.
Retail tourism is taking part in 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 enchantment, 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 procuring 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 total 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 searching for genuine manufacturers that seize the tradition and uniqueness of their vacation spot, in addition to luxurious manufacturers in an expensive 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 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 invaluable insights into the spending patterns and preferences of in the present day’s procuring vacationers. It underscores the merging of experiential tourism with procuring, assembly the calls for of retail vacationers. While high-street retailers stay common procuring locations, out-of-town retail can be rising in recognition, with round one-third of survey respondents reporting visits to such locations. Additionally, on-line procuring enhances somewhat than substitutes conventional retail experiences.
The report additionally gives invaluable suggestions for stakeholders in retail tourism, offering steerage on easy methods to navigate these rising traits efficiently. While the future of retail tourism appears constructive, it’s important to acknowledge and deal with sure obstacles, together with challenges associated to labour legal guidelines and the affect of tax-free procuring insurance policies.