A little bit of background: It should be known that China, Brazil, India and other emerging economies are the largest potential markets for tourism spending. Chinese tourists alone, are expected to spend $264 Billion in 2019, up from $164 Billion in 2014. The most popular activity among the Chinese tourists are: Shopping (due to strict import taxes and other tariffs at home), and Fine Dining.

Which has led to some problems for retailers, especially with customs:

“We’ve had people missing their flights because they’ve had to wait more than an hour, and 50% of all reclaims are given back in pounds, then they have to go to the foreign exchange desk to change their money. We don’t make it a very good experience for them.”

So the proposed solution? To have a customs officer in the department store. They would exchange the currencies, perform transactions and provide some langauge assistance to the Chinese shoppers. But this can easily be applied to all foreign tourists should they need assistance.

With That in Mind:

When traveling abroad, would you use an in-store (or in-hotel) customs officer that:

  • Speaks your language.
  • Knows what you can/can’t bring into your country.
  • Has the authority to declare your purchases.
  • Can exchange your currencies and tax-free transactions

A. Yes.

B. No.

C. Maybe.


As a Bonus: