How will millennials shop abroad in the future? Innovative payment technologies and services should be promoted further in 2019. Otherwise, the global travel trends for 2019 could have an impact on the tax free shopping behavior of tourists.

Once again this year, travel trends will determine who will shop where, when and how much. The German retail sector should keep an eye on trends in countries such as China, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates – the top 5 nations for tax free shopping in Germany. What effects does this have on tourists’ tax free shopping behavior? Six things that can affect travel and shopping behavior:

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1. The emerging countries benefit from calming the global trade war

Slight signs of relaxation in the trade war between the US and China ahead of the Chinese New Year on February 5, 2019, are expected to keep prices for Chinese tourists stable during this peak travel season. Any further easing could have a positive impact on the currencies of many emerging markets, thereby boosting outbound travel.

2. Ecotourism is increasing

When choosing a holiday destination, social, political and, above all, ecological issues will become increasingly important in 2019. A study by has shown that younger target groups in particular rely on sustainability in the target country.

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3. Social media and artificial intelligence influence travel behavior

Social media platforms like Instagram are increasingly becoming a source of inspiration for travel destinations. Geo-tagging in posts and impressive locations in selfies provide tourists who are always looking for new special destinations with ideas for their next trip.

4. Great Britain becomes an outlet for luxury fashion

Even in the run-up to Brexit, Great Britain and above all London became an attractive shopping destination, especially for high-priced goods, due to the weakened pound. In the past few years, spending on luxury goods in the UK has increased by 41 percent. This trend will definitely continue.

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5. Chinese order shopping abroad is coming under pressure

The Chinese like to have luxury goods brought with them from abroad because they are cheaper there or to avoid plagiarism. From this a branch of the economy has developed which is called “Daigou” and operates in a legal gray area. Personal shoppers bring the goods they have bought abroad and then sell them in China via Internet portals such as Taobao or the messaging platform and “super app” WeChat. This system could come under pressure in 2019: a new e-commerce law will apply from January 1, 2019, which is intended to prevent these practices and could affect sales of luxury brands outside of China.

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6. Millennials were yesterday, Generation Z is tomorrow’s target group

Millennials, born between 1979 and 1996, are a significant target group in tourism and retail. The next generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2010, is becoming more and more important. According to the consulting firm Bain & Co., this age group will account for up to 46 percent of retail sales by 2025.


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