The World Journey & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched “International Retail Tourism: Developments and Insights”, a report set to vary the way in which we take into consideration procuring tourism. The joint analysis between WTTC and the Hospitality & Tourism Analysis Centre of The Hong Kong Polytechnic College, in collaboration with The Bicester Assortment, was revealed throughout an occasion which passed off at La Roca Village, a part of The Bicester Assortment, in Barcelona, Spain, to coincide with the Village’s 25th anniversary.
In 2019, retail tourism represented a considerable US$178BN, comprising 6% of the Journey & Tourism sector’s worth, and exceeding 15% in some locations. Regardless of this important enhance to economies throughout the globe, it has traditionally been under-researched, resulting in an absence of vital information 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 tendencies resembling sustainable retail. This report sheds gentle on the immense untapped potential of retail tourism for each locations and companies.
In line with the report, this section started to recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic in most markets in 2021, with the Americas and Europe main the way in which. Demonstrating exceptional development, it outpaced total economies in virtually all markets pre-pandemic, showcasing its resilience and future development prospects.
Retail tourism is taking part in a pivotal position within the restoration of the Journey & Tourism sector, which noticed inbound tourism revenues surging by 82% in 2022. Buying is now not only a leisure exercise; it shapes journey choices, enhances vacation spot enchantment, boosts international 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 shopper’s expertise. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, mentioned: “Retail tourism is now not nearly shopping for souvenirs; it’s a driving pressure behind the restoration of the Journey & Tourism sector, contributing considerably to income, job creation, and total financial development.
“This report underscores the untapped potential of retail tourism and the necessity for stakeholders throughout the Journey & Tourism sector to adapt to altering traveller preferences. Travellers are in search of 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 Assortment Chair and International Chief Service provider, mentioned: “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. By way of vacation spot integrity, technological embrace, public-private cooperation, empathising with the traveller’s viewpoint and advocating for well-considered insurance policies, we chart the trail for retail tourism’s dynamic future.”
Professor Haiyan Tune, Director of Hospitality and Tourism Analysis Heart within the College of Resort and Tourism Administration at The Hong Kong Polytechnic College, mentioned: “Sustainability in Journey & Tourism will proceed to develop in significance after the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s crucial that retailers perceive how a lot buyers and travellers are prepared to pay for sustainable merchandise.”
The report gives invaluable insights into the spending patterns and preferences of immediately’s procuring vacationers. It underscores the merging of experiential tourism with procuring, assembly the calls for of retail vacationers. Whereas high-street retailers stay widespread procuring locations, out-of-town retail can be rising in reputation, with round one-third of survey respondents reporting visits to such locations. Moreover, on-line procuring enhances slightly than substitutes conventional retail experiences.
The report additionally provides invaluable suggestions for stakeholders in retail tourism, offering steerage on methods to navigate these rising tendencies efficiently. Whereas the way forward for retail tourism appears to be like optimistic, it’s important to acknowledge and handle sure obstacles, together with challenges associated to labour legal guidelines and the affect of tax-free procuring insurance policies.