Russian tourists boost Finland’s tax free retail sales

South Carelia in eastern Finland is now a major shopping destination for Russian visitors.

The tax free sales of home appliances and electronics doubled compared to the same period one year ago. The second largest share of tax free sales was consisted of clothing retail with about a fifth of all tax free sales. Self-service department stores made up the third largest share.

South Carelia has caught up with the Helsinki capital city region in terms of tax free sales. The city of Lappeenranta is now the biggest tax free shopping destination for Russian tourists, overtaking the capital city region. The city of Imatra has also enjoyed fast growth in tax free sales.

Last year Russian visitors spent a total EUR 260 million on shopping in South Carelia.

Source: Etelä-Saimaa, Global Blue