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Retailers hail lifting of travel ban, return of international tourists with hopes of sales rebound


On Sunday, October 24, 2021, pedestrians with shopping bags wait for the opportunity to cross SoHo Street in New York. Consumers are facing dire warnings to get their holiday shopping done early this year, especially if theyre planning to do it online. The e-commerce sector is facing new challenges due to bottlenecks in global supply chains. Out-of-stock products are an increasing concern. Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The holiday shopping season is heating up and retailers are hoping to benefit from an extra wave of tourists: the international tourists returning to the U.S.

The Biden administration will be in place starting Monday will allow visitors from abroad into the country againThis is. As Covid-19 cases increased globally, restrictions have been placed on foreign travel from countries other than the U.K., Brazil, and most of Europe. Visitors must be fully vaccinated against Covid and have a negative Covid test within three days before departure. Exemptions apply to travelers under the age of 18, if they have medical reasons preventing them from getting a vaccine, or are traveling from one of 50 countries with low vaccine availability.

The policy may be a long-awaited shift for retailers that could help fill their stores with more customers and increase sales. Tourists spend billions on souvenirs. But they also buy luxury handbags, liquor, and high-end cosmetics. Global visitors fueled more than $43.4 billion of shopping in 2019 — or 27% of the total shopping driven by travel and tourism, according to the International Trade Administration.

Retail experts and businesses agree that it may take some time before tourists return to the U.S. to spend as high post-pandemic. There are still fewer airlines. China and other countries have strict restrictions on outbound travel. Pandemic logistics can also delay travel plans, such as long queues at airports to prove vaccination or Covid testing when they return home.

Airlines can tell you they have a high volume of bookings. But they can’t tell you when. You’ll hear hotels tell you that they are seeing an increase in bookings. The question is “when?” said Daniel Binder of Columbus Consulting. He specializes in travel retail. The ban will be lifted, but it will take some time.

Binder saw the spending power of international tourists — especially Chinese tourists — up close as a longtime executive at DFS, a luxury goods travel retailer that’s owned by LVMH. According to Binder, he witnessed the long time it took global tourist for them to come back after the terrorist attacks of September 11th and SARS.

Matt Shay, CEO of National Retail Federation, said that there’s a sense of optimism now that the ban is lifted. His belief is that Americans have become more confident in booking travel, going out to eat, and shopping. He said that international visitors will also “give a boost to the retail sector.”

On Wednesday, he stated that “the return to the service economy and the experience economy will be positive and profitable for retail” and added that international tourists returning to America would further enhance it.

On Sunday Oct. 24, 2021, a group of pedestrians carried shopping bags through the SoHo district in New York.

Nina Westerbelt | Bloomberg | Getty Images

New York City – “Shot in the Arm”

New York City will need international shoppers to be successful. During a typical year, visitors from other countries spend an estimated $4.75 billion on shopping, according to NYC & Company, the city’s tourism board.

Shopping is the most popular activity for people visiting the city from other countries — with 88% of international visitors saying they participate, according to a 2018 survey by the Department of Commerce. This is compared with 86% who enjoy sightseeing, 54% who visit art galleries and museums, and 29% who enjoy fine dining.

Contrary to this, just 30% of visitors from the U.S. visit New York City when visiting it.

“It’s a pivotal milestone in our recovery, for sure,” said Chris Heywood, executive vice president of global communications at NYC & Company. New York City’s current need is to welcome back international travelers.

Heywood announced that in the next few days the tourist group will launch a joint project with Macy’s Bloomingdale’s Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and other retailers, to motivate customers to return their stores. He said that the group will spend $6 million on global advertising for New York City over the coming months. According to him, the money would be concentrated in those countries that have relaxed their immigration policies so that it is easier for citizens to return home. This includes South Korea, Canada and Mexico. These places, including China, are subject to restrictions that can be very strict.

On Saturday, May 22nd, 2021, Zara bags will be available for purchase at Fifth Avenue, New York.

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Heywood said New York City benefits from having many shopping districts that are themselves tourist destinations — such as Fifth Avenue, Times Square and Hudson Yards — along with attractions like Broadway shows and art museums.

He said, “This gives you the chance to go back to that feeling of shopping and bragging rights like ‘I purchased that on Fifth Avenue’ or even ‘I purchased that in New York.” That’s an experience that few people are able to enjoy.

However, it could take several years to rebuild the city’s shopping and tourism revenue. According to the group, New York City will see 2.8 million visitors from abroad this year compared to 13.5 million visitors who visited in 2019. The group anticipates that the number of international tourists to New York City will double next year to around 8.5million. And by 2024 it hopes to see international tourism roughly equal pre-pandemic levels.

He said, “We hope to accelerate that timeline in as many ways as possible.”

“We don’t see great movement.”

Some retailers stated that they do not expect sales to increase as a result of the loosening travel restrictions. Many companies don’t expect the market to make up a large portion of their business, particularly those that aren’t in the luxury sector. A department store chain Macy’sAccording to a report by Reuters, international tourists only accounted for 4% of all sales for 2019.

Capri HoldingsAccording to, the owner of Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors, some tourists from abroad will be booking trips to the U.S. over the next few weeks. However, CEO John Idol stated on Wednesday during an earnings conference that international tourists have only made a small return to Europe since travel restrictions had been lifted. He also stated that there was no return to Japan or Korea.

Idol stated that “in our forecast, there isn’t tremendous movement changing our trajectory at most in the next fiscal year.”

It could prove to be worthwhile for a company such as Tiffany to make extra efforts to attract international customers back to their U.S. shops. It is now owned and operated by Tiffany. LVMHThe average foreign tourist brings in about 12% of domestic sales.

Tiffany is opening a shop at the West Village in Manhattan this holiday season to pay tribute to Jean Schlumberger. It features several Instagram-friendly backgrounds and offers visitors activities like painting. The shop is open from Monday to Jan. 8.

From Nov. 8 to Jan. 8, 2022, the Tiffany West Village Pop-up Location is available for public viewing.

Source: Tiffany & Co.

It’s the mall operators — some of the most challenged by stay-at-home trends in 2020 and consumers shifting into e-commerce — that say they expect to see a boon to traffic as foreigners return.

“We still think that there’s another leg up if we get the international tourist that we haven’t seen for a couple — two, three — years,” Simon Property Group CEO David Simon told analysts on an earnings conference call held Monday.

Simon’s malls are The Forum Shops in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas and The Galleria mall, Houston. There is also a variety of outlet stores.

The American Dream megamall in New Jersey is eager for foreigners. One portion of the development’s 3 million square feet first opened to the public in October 2019This is. However, it was soon shut down due to pandemic restrictions. Triple Five Group, which operated American Dream in fall 2019, stated to CNBC that the megamall was expected to attract 40 million people annually. Many of these visitors were foreigners. The mall has seen very little of this.

American Dream is intensifying its marketing efforts in New Jersey to lure tourists to the Meadowlands. One team is dedicated exclusively to tourism at the megamall, which corresponds with travel agencies and helps visitors to book their trips to this development.

Jill Renslow is the executive vice president marketing of Triple Five. She stated, “American Dream was designed to become a world-class destination for tourism.” “We are also working closely with New Jersey… making certain we highlight all that New Jersey offers.”

The fact that sales of clothing and footwear in New Jersey are generally tax exempt should be another appealing factor for foreign visitors to head to the state, she said.

Just last month, the first round of luxury retailers — including Saks Fifth Avenue, Hermes and Dolce & Gabbana — opened up at American Dream. The megamall also has a separate entrance that allows buses to access the megamall.

David Yurman, Jeweler has been able to build international sales since the epidemic. The company has 45 U.S. stores and one Canadian store. It also has partnerships with other jewelry and department shops around the world.

It has also launched websites dedicated to other countries over the last year, and started initiatives to attract more Chinese customers. Lee Tucker, David Yurman’s head of marketing, said. The company started to sell limited quantities through WeChat and social media.

Tucker explained that jewelers’ salespeople can communicate in many languages such as Farsi, Mandarin and Arabic, making it easy for tourists to feel welcomed and comfortable.

A double-decker bus, wrapped in company advertising, will be driving this month to Newport Beach and Rodeo Drive. International tourists might see the advertisement and feel inspired to buy.

“We wait to find out how and when international tourists return to our cities, and which groups will travel first,” he stated.