Antonio Santos del Valle 

Global shopping tourism outlook (2024-2031)

Antonio Santos del Valle

Global shopping tourism outlook (2024-2031)

Last Tuesday, a webinar organized by the Tourism and Society Think Tank was held, with the participation of leading representatives from various sectors related to shopping tourism. Among the attendees were executives from shopping malls, tourist destinations, credit card companies, well-known brands, as well as colleagues from different universities.

During the event, these international experts shared their valuable perspectives on the present and future of shopping tourism. Below is a summary of the most relevant ideas and trends that were discussed:

All present agreed that the global shopping tourism market is poised for significant growth, with an estimated value of US$267.21 billion in 2024, and is forecast to reach US$497.97 billion by 2031. This represents a solid compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3% over the forecast period.

Key factors behind this growth include rising disposable incomes and the availability of financing options. The expanding middle class and their growing desire to enjoy leisure travel and shopping are major contributors. Destinations are capitalizing on this trend by promoting unique shopping experiences and offers to attract tourists. Social media influencers also play a crucial role in driving the market through their endorsement of favorite shopping destinations. However, challenges such as international political uncertainties and currency fluctuations could pose risks for market players.

Drivers of market growth

Higher wages and lower costs of consumer goods have made shopping trips abroad more affordable. Countries such as China and India, in particular, have a growing number of shoppers seeking branded goods in international destinations.

India, with its vast young and technologically connected population, presents enormous potential for global tourism. Destinations that manage to capture the attention of these travelers often benefit from their loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion through social networks and other digital media. Also, Indian tourists' interest in exotic destinations and their growing expectations for personalized services are forcing the industry to continually innovate and improve its offerings. This dynamic not only supports economic growth, but also drives healthy competition among tourism destinations, leading to an overall increase in the quality of services and infrastructure globally. In short, tourism in emerging markets, with India at the forefront, represents a golden opportunity for sustainable development and diversification of the international tourism sector.

Emerging trends

Regional outlook

Detailed analysis of the regional outlook and comprehensive assessment of the shopping tourism market demonstrates the importance and dynamism of this sector globally. Each region, with its unique characteristics and competitive advantages, contributes significantly to the growth and diversification of the market. From the luxury shopping malls of North America and Europe to the vibrant local markets of Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa, shopping tourism continues to evolve, adapting to emerging trends and changing consumer expectations.

For manufacturers, retailers and investors, understanding these dynamics and keeping abreast of changes in the macroeconomic and geopolitical environment is essential to capitalize on opportunities and mitigate risks. Innovation in the shopping experience, the adoption of sustainable practices, and the ability to attract tourists from emerging markets such as India are key factors that will determine future success in this sector.

Author: Antonio Santos del Valle

President of TSTT

International consultant

The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of the facts contained in this document and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of Tourism and Society Think Tank and do not commit the Organization, and should not be attributed to TSTT or its members.

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