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NEWS UPDATES 24 September 2009

Malaysia comes in fourth in Asia-Pacific shopping survey

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Malaysia ranks fourth in duty-free shopping in Asia Pacific with an average expenditure of $195 per traveller, higher than Japan, Australia and New Zealand, reported local business daily StarBiz, citing the latest Visa Travel Smart Survey.

The survey found that South Korean and Chinese travellers spent the most on duty-free items with an average expenditure of $358 and $333 each respectively. Hong Kong travellers ranked third, spending an average $224 each.

The Visa Travel Smart Survey queried 2,226 travellers from across the Asia Pacific region on their travel spending habits from September 26 to November 15 last year at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

It interviewed departing and arriving visitors, as well as transit passengers aged 18 years old and above with a trip duration of at least 48 hours.

Visa Malaysia country manager Stuart Tomlinson said duty-free shopping offered great savings on international brands as well as products that were exclusive to duty-free shoppers.

“It is no surprise that the Chinese and South Koreans, renowned brand lovers in the region, are snapping up duty-free bargains,” he said in a statement.

Visa operates the world’s largest retail electronic payments network, providing processing services and payment product platforms. The survey showed 43 percent of respondents shopped at a duty-free store during their last overseas trip.

Travellers from Japan (73 percent), South Korea (71 percent) and China (49 percent) were the region’s most frequent duty-free shoppers.

Credit cards were the most popular form of payment for Australians (59 percent) and New Zealanders (59 percent), followed by the South Koreans (56 percent) when it comes to paying for duty-free purchases.

Leisure travellers also picked up a higher average tab ($219) at duty-free shops compared with business travellers ($179), according to the survey.

Leisure travellers did most of their duty-free shopping at the airport (84 percent) while business travellers preferred downtown duty-free shops (67 percent).

Younger travellers were also more likely to spend on duty-free items with 47 percent of those aged 18 to 29 reporting that they bought duty-free items on their last trip compared with 42 percent of those aged 40 and above.


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