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Top Duty Free Spenders in Asia Pacific

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Asia Pacific travelers stretch their travel budgets by shopping at duty free stores, according to a survey commissioned by Visa.

The Visa Travel Smart Survey asked 2,226 travelers from across the Asia Pacific region on their travel spending habits and found that Korean and Chinese travelers spent the most on duty free items on their last trip with an average expenditure of US$358 and US$333 respectively. This was US$100 more than the regional average.

 Brian McGrory, Regional Head, Debit Products, Visa, said, “Duty free shopping can offer great savings on international brands as well as products that are exclusive to duty free shoppers so it is no surprise that the Chinese and Koreans, renowned brand lovers in the region, are snapping up duty free bargains.”

Reinforcing the appeal of duty free savings, 43% of all respondents said they shopped at a duty free store during their last overseas trip. Travelers from Japan (73%), Korea (71%) and China (49%) were the region’s most frequent duty free shoppers while Korean and Chinese travelers also made it to the biggest spender list.

When it comes to paying for duty free purchases, credit cards were the most popular form of payment for Australians and New Zealanders (59% respectively), followed by the Koreans (56%) who are the region’s biggest spenders.

During their last trip abroad, leisure travelers said they picked up a higher average tab (US$219) at duty free shops compared with business travelers (US$179). When asked where they made their duty free purchases, leisure travelers said they did most of their duty free shopping at the airport (84%) while business travelers preferred downtown duty free shops (67%).

Younger travelers were the most likely to stretch their travel budget with duty free purchases – 47% of 18 to 29 year old travelers said they bought duty free on their last trip while 42% of 40 years and above said they made such purchases.

Top Duty Free Spenders

Korea US$358
China US$333
Hong Kong US$224
Malaysia US$195
India US$180
Thailand US$178
Japan US$164
Australia US$153
Singapore US$153
New Zealand US$134
Taiwan US$125
Regional Average = US$212

The survey interviewed departing or arriving visitors/transit passengers (aged 18 years and above, trip length was at least 48 hours) at Singapore Changi Airport. A total of 2,226 respondents were interviewed from Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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