Market Overview

Globe Shopper Index Highlights Best Shopping Cities in Asia and Europe for 15M American Travel Shoppers


Global Blue today announced the launch of its Globe Shopper Index for cities in Asia-Pacific, with Hong Kong ranking as the number one destination for international travellers looking for a great shopping experience. Global Blue's expanded Globe Shopper Index adds 25 Asia-Pacific cities to the existing 33 European cities and ranks them their attractiveness for international travel shopping. The rankings are based on five categories covering shops, affordability, convenience, hotels & transport and culture & climate. Global Blue developed the Globe Shopper Index in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit as an essential planning tool for all international travel shoppers searching for their next shopping destination in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Launching the Globe Shopper Index, Global Blue President & CEO, Per Setterberg said: "The Globe Shopper Index is a guide for international travel shoppers on the best cities to visit in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Expansion of the Globe Shopper Index to include Asia-Pacific cities demonstrates Global Blue's dedication to ensuring the best possible experience for travel shoppers. Thanks to Global Blue's Tax Free Shopping globe shoppers have long enjoyed excellent value shopping overseas, now they can use the Globe Shopper Index to discover their ideal shopping city based on their personal priorities and share it with their friends online.”

American Globe Shoppers

In 2011 more than 15 million Americans travelled overseas to Asia and Europe1. The majority of these trips were leisure trips and more than 70% of travellers claim to have shopped during their trip.2 Like many other nationalities, Americans are enthusiastic globe shoppers. In 2011 Global Blue tracked spending by US citizens of more than €260m (US$330m) when they shopped for goods such as clothing, watches and jewellery, on trips to Europe and Asia, a 3% increase on 2010. Americans' favourite shopping destinations last year were France and Italy in Europe and Korea in Asia, where combined they spent almost €190m (US$245m) and subsequently claimed back sales taxes through Global Blue.

A Shopping City Suited to You

Whether a globe shopper cares most about finding a great place to lunch, or an open-all-hours shopping culture, whether they just want great prices, or are looking for the biggest variety of luxury goods to choose from, the Globe Shopper Index is the place to start researching a destination city. From today globe shoppers can visit, select the city features most important to them and find the cities that best match their preferences. They can then share their preferred cities online with their friends to gather shopping tips.

Globe Shopper Nations

Global Blue has an extensive database on worldwide international travel shopper behaviour that makes it the premier provider of information and insight on globe shopping. In 2011 the top ten globe shopper nations, as measured by Global Blue, spent more than €4.5bn (US$5.75bn) shopping overseas. Shoppers from these nations can visit the Index's interactive website at to find out how the many cities compare against their own personal preferences for a shopping city.

Index Table

Rank       City       Score         Rank       City       Score
1       Hong Kong       68.5         14       Bangalore       49.6
2 Kuala Lumpur 65.0 15 Guangzhou 48.4
3 Shanghai 63.0 16 Mumbai 48.3
4 Beijing 60.6 17 Jakarta 45.7
5 Singapore 60.1 18 Osaka 45.1
6 Sydney 58.5 19 Ho Chi Minh City 44.9
7 Bangkok 57.0 20 Busan 44.7
8 Tokyo 56.4 21 Nagoya 38.5
9 Seoul 54.7 22 Colombo 36.3
10 Delhi 52.8 23 Dhaka 35.7
11 Manila 51.5 24 Karachi 34.1
12 Taipei 51.4 25 Yangon 29.8
13       Auckland       50.1                          

About Global Blue

Global Blue is the expert on foreign travellers' shopping and spending and makes retail transactions between merchants and their foreign customers, easier and more rewarding for everyone. Having invented the concept of Tax Free Shopping thirty years ago, Global Blue now offers a wide range of services that help consumers shop and spend wisely when they are in foreign countries, and merchants and banks increase their revenues from the lucrative traveller market.

Global Blue works with over 270,000 of the world's favourite retailers, shopping brands and hotels in over 40 countries; Global Blue serves in excess of 60,000 travellers each and every day. The company's ambition is to become the beacon for international shopping and spending across the globe. Global Blue's headquarters are in Nyon, close to Geneva, Switzerland. More information about Global Blue is available at

Methodology for Globe Shopper Index – Asia-Pacific

The Globe Shopper Index – Asia-Pacific measures the attractiveness of 25 major Asia-Pacific cities for international travel shopping. A city's Index score is made up of 38 criteria, which are grouped into five categories covering shops, affordability, convenience, hotels and transport, and culture and climate. Criteria were assessed quantitatively, e.g. number of passenger flights annually, or qualitatively, e.g. likelihood of bargaining a discount in various stores.

Each city has an average category score. All five category scores were averaged to give an overall Index score. Criteria scores were converted to an Index score between 0 and 100. The EIU developed all the criteria and categories independently. All categories were given equal weighting in the Index.

Index cities were selected based on visitor numbers and economic importance, whilst also factoring geographic diversity. Cities were chosen from Asia-Pacific countries with GDP PPP greater than €50bn, with bigger economies being represented by more than one city.

About The EIU

The Economist Intelligence Unit helps business leaders to prepare for opportunity, empowering them to act with confidence when making strategic decisions. We are renowned for our comprehensive global coverage and use the best analytical minds to examine markets, countries and industries with a level of insight unparalleled elsewhere. Uncompromising integrity, relentless rigour and precise communication underpin everything we do. We are meticulous about every analysis, every study, every projection and every commentary that carries the EIU brand. Our reputation for trusted business intelligence depends on it. Crystallise your thinking and see greater possibilities with business intelligence from the EIU–the most assured way to prepare for opportunity.

1 US Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries

2 Ibid.

Global Blue Holdings AB
Marie Bergfelt
Corporate Communications
Phone: +46 708 510033
Brittany Kang
Consumer and Brand Marketing
Phone: 310 309 6684

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