Antonio Santos del Valle

Shopping tourism as an asset in the tourist offer of destinations

Antonio Santos del Valle

Shopping tourism as an asset in the tourist offer of destinations

Shopping tourism is a form of tourism that focuses on the activity of shopping as a travel experience in itself. Shopping tourists often travel to specific destinations to buy products that may not be available in their home locations or that may be cheaper or of better quality elsewhere.

Shopping destinations can be cities, regions or countries that have an attractive and varied shopping offer, and that offer a unique and attractive shopping experience for tourists. Some of the most popular shopping tourism destinations include New York, Paris, Miami, Milan, Tokyo, Dubai, Hong Kong, among others.

Shopping tourism includes not only the shopping activity itself, but also other related activities, such as visiting shopping malls, markets and speciality shops, and enjoying the local culture and cuisine of the region.

Shopping tourists can be of different ages, genders and nationalities, and tend to have a high purchasing power. Some of the most popular products purchased by shopping tourists include clothing, footwear, jewellery, electronics, beauty and wellness products, and local handicrafts.

Therefore, shopping tourism is a form of tourism that focuses on the shopping activity as a travel experience in itself. Shopping tourists visit specific tourist destinations to buy products that may not be available in their places of origin or that may be cheaper or of better quality elsewhere.

From the perspective of the type of products, the World Shopping Tourism Network divides them into:

Shopping tourism and supranational products are closely related, as both refer to the purchase and sale of products that transcend national borders.

Supranational products are those that are produced in several countries or regions and marketed internationally under a common brand or label. These products may be manufactured by multinational companies or by small local companies that have decided to join together to market their products globally.

Shopping tourism can be a way to access these supranational products. Shopping tourists can visit specific tourist destinations that offer a wide variety of supranational products, such as branded shops, international shopping malls or trade fairs.

In addition, shopping tourism can also be a way to promote and raise awareness of supranational products in different international markets. Shopping tourists can buy supranational products in their home country and bring them back home, which can help increase the demand and visibility of these products in their local markets.

Likewise, shopping tourism can be an important way to foster the local economy and sustainable development, especially if it focuses in products with cultural identity. Visitors seeking authentic and unique experiences often look for local products that are unique and reflect the culture and heritage of the region.

Products with cultural identity can include handicrafts, textiles, food, wines and spirits, among others. Visitors can enjoy a unique shopping experience by visiting local markets, fairs and local produce shops that offer authentic and high quality products.

In addition, shopping tourism can help preserve and promote the culture and heritage of a region by supporting local producers and artisans. Visitors can learn about the traditional techniques used to produce these products and can take home a piece of local culture as a souvenir of their trip.

However, it is important to ensure that the production of these products is sustainable and ethical, and that producers receive a fair price for their products. In this way, shopping tourism can be a beneficial way to promote sustainable development and the preservation of a region's culture and heritage.

Tourism promotion of cultural identity can be an effective way to attract visitors interested in authentic and unique experiences. Here are some strategies for promoting cultural identity in tourism:

1. Highlight local culture: When promoting a region, it is important to highlight the local culture and traditions that make the region unique. This can include food, music, art and crafts.

2. Encourage community participation: Tourism promotion of cultural identity should involve the local community and encourage their participation. This may include the creation of events and festivals that celebrate local culture and encourage community participation in their organisation.

3. Offer authentic experiences: Visitors interested in cultural identity are looking for authentic and unique experiences. Tour operators can offer guided tours that include visits to cultural sites, craft workshops and local food tastings.4. Support the local economy: It is important that tourism promotion of cultural identity also includes support for the local economy. This can include the promotion of local products, such as handicrafts and food, and support for local businesses and organisations.

5. Creating a cultural brand: Creating a cultural brand can be an effective way to promote the cultural identity of a region. This can include the creation of a logo and slogan that captures the essence of the local culture and is used in tourism promotion.

It is here that crafts have a significant role to play as an expression of cultural identity in its relationship with tourism.

Tourism and crafts are closely related as crafts are an important part of the culture and identity of a place, and can be a major attraction for tourists seeking authentic and unique experiences.

Handicrafts can include a wide range of products, such as textiles, ceramics, jewellery, folk art and carved wooden objects, among others. Each region has its own craft tradition and the production of these objects can be an important livelihood for local artisans.

Tourists can visit local markets and craft shops to buy handmade products and learn more about the techniques used in their manufacture. They can also visit workshops and cooperatives to meet the artisans and see the production process.

In addition, tourism can help to promote and preserve craft traditions, as it can provide a source of income for the artisans and their community. At the same time, tourists can help to keep these traditions alive by buying and appreciating handicraft products.

Crafts are a form of cultural expression that is passed down from generation to generation and can be an integral part of the identity of a community or region. Visitors can purchase local crafts as souvenirs of their trip, which can help support the local economy and encourage sustainable development.

In addition, tourists seeking a more authentic experience may seek to participate in craft workshops or visit craft-making sites to learn about the traditional techniques and processes used by local artisans.

Tourism and crafts can therefore be beneficial both for the local economy and for the preservation and promotion of a region's culture and cultural heritage.

There are many new and creative ways to promote crafts and make them more attractive to a wider audience. Here are some ideas:

1. Events and fairs: Fairs and events can be an effective way to promote crafts. Artisans can showcase their products and techniques to visitors and attract an interested audience.

2. Digital marketing: Social media and online sales platforms can be an effective way to reach a wider audience. Artisans can use platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Etsy to showcase their products and reach a global audience.

3. Collaborations with designers: Collaborating with designers and fashion brands can be an effective way to bring crafts to a wider audience. Designers can use traditional techniques and materials in their designs to create modern and unique products.

4. Workshops and courses: Workshops and courses can be an effective way to teach and disseminate craft techniques and skills to a wider audience. This can include workshops for children, adults and tourists.

5. Experiential tourism: Experiential tourism can be an effective way to promote crafts. Tourists can visit craft workshops and see artisans in action, learn about traditional techniques and skills, and create their own handicrafts.

6. Awareness campaigns: Awareness campaigns can be an effective way to promote crafts and raise awareness of their cultural and economic value. This can include online and social media campaigns, as well as campaigns in local communities.

Another type of shopping tourism is determined by the classification of these products and services as luxury.

Shopping tourism and luxury tourism are related in that luxury tourists can often be the main drivers of shopping tourism in selected tourist destinations.

Luxury tourism refers to the travel experience that focuses on the search for exclusivity, refinement and high quality personalised services. Luxury tourists tend to have high purchasing power and seek to enjoy unique and exclusive travel experiences, which may include shopping activities in luxury destinations.

Luxury shopping tourism is concentrated in tourist destinations with a high-end shopping offer, including branded shops, luxury shopping malls and exclusive boutiques. Luxury shopping tourists tend to look for exclusive and high quality products, such as designer clothes, jewellery, beauty and wellness products, works of art and antiques.

Popular luxury shopping destinations include Paris, Milan, New York, Dubai, Madrid, London and Hong Kong, among others. These destinations offer a wide variety of luxury shopping options, from high-end brand shops to exclusive, personalised shopping experiences.

In this sense, luxury and products such as handicrafts may seem contradictory concepts, as handicrafts are commonly associated with the production of handmade objects and an appreciation for skill and craftsmanship, while luxury is related to exclusivity, sophistication and high-quality materials.

However, nowadays, craftsmanship and luxury can be related, as high quality handicraft products can be considered as luxury products. Craftsmanship can add a differential value to a product, as consumers can appreciate the exclusivity and uniqueness of a handmade object.

Moreover, in some cases, handcrafted products can be produced with high quality materials and specialised techniques, which gives them an added value that can be considered luxury. For example, the production of handmade jewellery made with high quality gold and diamonds can be considered a combination of craftsmanship and luxury.

Some luxury brands have also incorporated craftsmanship into their production, often collaborating with local artisans and artists to create exclusive products. For example, some luxury fashion brands have worked with traditional weavers or embroiderers to create unique, high-quality garments.

The World Shopping Tourism Network - WSTN provides a platform for collaboration and exchange of knowledge and best practices among members, in order to improve the quality of shopping tourism services and increase their attractiveness to travellers. The organisation also seeks to foster innovation and creativity in the shopping tourism industry, and to promote sustainability and social responsibility in the supply chain.

WMST initiatives and projects include the development of tools and guidelines for tourist destinations, retailers and other key players in the shopping tourism industry; the organisation of international events and forums for the exchange of knowledge and best practices; and the promotion of shopping tourism as a way to promote sustainable economic development and job creation in local communities.

In short, the Global Shopping Tourism Network is a global organisation that seeks to foster shopping tourism and promote sustainable economic growth locally and globally. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, the WSTN seeks to improve the quality of shopping tourism services and increase their attractiveness to travellers.

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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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