International visitors are being drawn to the United States for its lucrative shopping opportunities, research from the International Shopping Traveler Survey reveals.
The Sun Sentinel reports the findings that 30 per cent of international visitors to the US cited shopping as a factor in their choice of destination. Top shopping destinations include New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando and San Francisco.
23 per cent of respondents revealed that shopping was a key reason for their visit, with good value and a wide selection of brands being the most influential factors and apparel and footwear being named as the most popular shopping categories.
From an average holiday spend of $3,692, travellers spend an average of $1,062 on shopping alone.
International visitors are keen to bag bargains in the current economic climate, and are finding many opportunities at major shopping malls across the United States. The popularity of shopping tourism is particularly significant for economies in areas such as South Florida, which is heavily reliant on international tourism.
Local travel firms in Florida are cutting prices and introducing a wider range of accommodation opportunities to ensure continued appeal for international visitors. Florida hotel owner David Hess has expanded beyond his traditional Canadian clientele to attract more guests from Europe and South America, countries less affected by the economic downturn with more money to spend on shopping excursions.
Mr Hess explains: “South America wasn’t a significant part of the bank failures.
“And many in the upper- and middle-class there come two or three times a year to South Florida to shop.”