Italy tourism

Brexit news: tax-free shopping could offer a new opportunity for Italian tourism | World | News

Duty-free shopping specialist Global Blue said the UK’s exit from the European Union is an “opportunity to revive Italian tourism”. He believes that the prospects for tourism from the United Kingdom are particularly good, especially in the medium term.

Indeed, the Mediterranean country is the third most popular destination for British travelers in Europe after Spain and France.

Stefano Rizzi, Country Director of Global Blue Italia, also pointed out that there are lucrative opportunities among the five million EU citizens who live in the UK and frequently return to their home countries.

Giorgio Palmucci, the president of the Italian national tourist office, shared this equally rosy vision.

He said: “The organization of the restart (of the economy after the lockdown) is going well.

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He added: “But we must not forget that Italy remains a sought-after destination, with such a wide offer that it allows us to have tourists all year round.”

In addition to those tourists who provide Italy’s heavily depleted coffers with a valuable boost, other travelers might be tempted by the lure of duty-free items.

Before Brexit, British travelers lost huge savings on cheap booze, cigarettes and perfumes before returning home.

The savings were so great that many Britons used to take “booze cruises” to places like Calais where they could stock up on cheap booze and fags.

On the return flight or ferry, they could augment their rides by grabbing duty-free items.

The EU banned duty-free sales in 1999 – effectively ending this practice.

But with Brexit finally done – observers say they could be back on the cards.

In February, the mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, called for the creation of a free zone around the whole city to take advantage of Brexit.

She wants to recreate the heyday of the 1980s and 1990s when millions of Britons crossed the English Channel to stock up on cigarettes and booze and other cheap goods.

“Our mayor is fighting so that the whole city of Calais benefits from the same zero-rating rules as the ferries,” said Philippe Mignonet, one of Ms. Bouchart’s assistants.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega