LONDON — A strong uptick in spending by Chinese tourists helped buoy tourist spending in October, according to Barclays, which issued a research note Friday that analyzed the latest figures from Global Blue.
Tourist spending globally rose 6.6 percent in October, compared to the same month last year, while spending by Chinese tourists rose 22.1 percent year-on-year. That rise helped offset a dip in spending by Russian tourists, which fell 25.7 percent year-on-year.
Barclays said the rise in spending by Chinese tourists was “likely reflecting the weaker euro and the partial redirection [of spending] from Hong Kong towards Europe and the rest of Asia, due to the political instability in our view.”
Global Blue, which operates a tax-free shopping network, tracks tourist spending in 37 countries that operate VAT refunds systems, which excludes the U.S., Hong Kong and Dubai, Barclays said.
The 6.6 percent rise in global tourist spending in October followed a 13.5 percent rise year-on-year in September. Barclays calculated that aside from spending by Russian and Chinese tourists, spending by tourists from other countries rose around 3 percent globally in October. In the year to date, however, overall tourist spending was up 2.7 percent, compared to the year-ago period, when it had risen 10.1 percent.
In terms of categories, watches and jewelry rose 11 percent in October, while leather goods and bags were up 6.8 percent and fashion and clothing fell 1 percent. Barclays noted that the latter category was impacted by the fall in Russian tourist spending, as the country makes “a larger contribution” to the category.
Tourist spending in Europe gained 5.1 percent, while in the rest of the world was up around 16 percent, Barclays said, “likely supported by [South] Korea and Singapore.”