Global Blue's VIP lounge in Paris

PARIS France is the leading destination for the highest-spending global shoppers, outpacing Italy and Great Britain, according to a study by Global Blue, a tourist shopping tax refund company.

The results of its first annual study of high-spending tourists — those fitting in Global Blue’s “elite” category, who shell out an average of 55,000 euros through 12 transactions when traveling abroad — show that Chinese shoppers account for 30 percent of these travelers to France, below their weight of nearly 40 percent globally.

The country attracts a disproportionately large amount of wealthy Americans, meanwhile —13 percent compared to their international weight of 6 percent.

When it comes to high-end travelers from the Gulf region, many favor the U.K. for its premium and personalized services.

“While France is the preferred destination of elite travelers and attracts them in greatest numbers, once they are in the country, they are less inclined to spend as much as when they travel across the channel or to Singapore,” said Yan Mortreux, general director of Global Blue’s French operations.

According to the study, these wealthy travelers spent a larger proportion of their annual budgets in the U.K., where they spend an average of 35,000 euros than in France, where the figure is 30,000 euros.

The study drew on figures from October last year through the end of September this year.

Global Blue has been setting up VIP lounges in capital cities like Paris and London, offering wealthy tourists a place to grab a refreshment while getting their tax refunds.

The Switzerland-based company, which belongs to private equity firm Silver Lake, works for brands selling to traveling shoppers, acting as an intermediary between them and the countries offering tax discounts, providing forms and offering refunds in advance.

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