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Germany promotes itself as a shopping destination

By XU LIN | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-13 07:59
The Rhein-Galerie shopping center in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany. RHEIN-GALERIE/LUDWIGSHAFEN

GNTB's official data showed that China remains the second-largest overseas market for Germany as a travel destination after the United States. In 2018, the number of overnight stays by Chinese tourists in Germany was 3.02 million, an increase of 5.6 percent over 2017.Germany expects to have 5 million overnight stays by Chinese visitors by 2030.

And, when Chinese travelers return home after their holiday in Germany, they can use Alipay to apply for tax refunds via their smartphones, using a Chinese customs service. Also, the system is more efficient as people no longer have to wait in a line at a counter and it takes less time to get the refunds. The service is provided by Germany-based Travel Easy Group.

According to Travel Easy Group, in 2018, Chinese travelers spent 150 billion yuan ($21.8 billion) in total on their travels in Europe, nearly half of which was on on-site shopping. The number is expected to hit 200 billion yuan by 2020. Among those who traveled to Europe, about half said tax-free shopping was very appealing to them.

"Germany remains one of the favorite European destinations for Chinese visitors. There are more direct flights between Germany and China compared to other European countries. That makes it easier for Chinese tourists to travel to Germany," Li from the GNTB's Beijing office says.

"Also, business travelers from China constitute a steady flow of visitors to Germany, and they have higher purchasing power."

Li is confident about Germany's attractiveness as a destination for shopping. She hopes that it will be a key factor in drawing Chinese visitors to Germany in the future.

She says that the shopping festival is a platform to promote German brands among Chinese visitors, and more businesses are interested in joining next year's activity.

According to her, Germany is known for its quality products, ranging from luxury goods and daily necessities to household electrical appliances and food.

Li also says that GNTB plans to open a store on Alibaba's Tmall online shopping platform to sell reputable German brands that are not so well-known to Chinese consumers.

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