A couple of recent studies make for interesting reading (this from Hospodarske noviny), if you’re interested in the tourist sector. Foreign tourists used to come to the Czech Republic to fill their shopping bags with crystal, but those days are over. Where as in 2006, crystal made up 23%of all good bought by visitors, that figure has now fallen below 10%.
Instead, the interest in fashion has taken of, rising to more than 65%. “Foreigners have worked out that it if they get the VAT back, it pays to buy the luxury brands,” says Jiri Macas, director of Global Blue, which arranges VAT refunds.
Russians are the biggest buyers, in terms of volume (around CZK 20bn), but that’s primarily because they’re the biggest group of tourists. Contrary to popular belief, though, they’re not the biggest spenders, coughing up CZK 6,600 on an average visit. Thais, on the other hand, spend nearly CZK 16,000. Who knew?