LONDON – Tourist spending picked up – albeit modestly and unevenly – in the month of October, with Europe showing its first positive result in nearly a year, while spending by Russian consumers took a positive turn, according to Global Blue and Barclays.
Overall tourist spending in October, as measured by Global Blue, fell 2.3 percent, compared with minus 5.9 percent in September.
Europe saw its first positive result since last December, climbing 0.9 percent, compared with September’s 4 percent decline, bolstered by the weaker pound in the U.K.
Tourists taking advantage of bargains drove sales in the U.K. up nearly 35 percent, compared with September’s 32 percent, and August’s 36 percent growth.
Other European countries saw the rate of decline slow: Sales to tourists visiting France were down 10.8 percent compared with September’s minus 22.6 percent, while in Germany spending was down 13.5 percent, compared with September’s 21.3 percent drop.
Spending in Italy, however, dipped 8.7 percent compared with the previous month’s 8 percent, while Switzerland fell 9.7 percent, compared with September’s 2.2 percent.
Spending in the Asia-Pacific region retreated 11.8 percent decline compared with September’s minus 8.5 percent.
Barclays pointed out that Chinese consumers posted their eighth consecutive negative monthly organic result, although the decline in spending appears to be slowing: Spend by Chinese tourists fell 7.6 percent in October, compared with 14.4 percent in September.
Barclays reiterated that the recent “daigou” crackdown measures enacted by the Chinese government continue to put pressure on Chinese consumer travel and spending abroad. Fears of more terrorist attacks and visa changes in Europe have also put a damper on spending.
Spending by Russian consumers showed growth for the first time since 2013, climbing 2.9 percent compared with minus 9.5 percent in September.