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According to tax free shopping company Global Blue, Chinese tourists splashed out on luxury last month, with spending on high-end products seeing an increase of 122% in March. This follows a rise of 52% in February. As a result, Chinese spending on luxury goods has increased by 67% for the first quarter.
This increase in overseas shopping was due to the unrest in Hong Kong last year, which has alienated Chinese shoppers. In addition to Hong Kong’s loss of appeal, the weak Euro has made Europe an increasingly attractive destination for luxury shopping as Chinese tourists. Although many brands are starting to tackle the price gap between countries, Chinese tourists can still get luxury items for considerably less in Europe than they would at home.
Watches and jewellery can be counted as the most popular luxury goods, having seen a 32% increase in purchases in February, followed by an increase of 67% last month.  Leather goods followed closely behind with rises of 24% in February and 50% in March. This predilection for high-end products is nothing new. Previous research by Global Blue, published in February, highlighted that Chinese are the largest consumers of luxury goods, representing 47% of all luxury sales last year.
March was not only a strong month for Chinese luxury spending. Overall, even though Russian expenditure has slowed down, purchases of luxury products worldwide has reached its highest peak since May 2011.